Live-streaming apps that allow users to broadcast live from their mobile devices are the next big thing in social media, according to experts. Elly Park reports.
Digital strategist Azeem Khan is broadcasting a rally from New York's Union Square on Periscope, a mobile app that turns anybody into a live broadcaster. In just a few months the Twitter-owned app and rival Meerkat have gained millions of users. New York University's Shawn van Every says there is a reason for their appeal. SOUNDBITE: Shawn Van Every, Professor at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, saying (English): "The active witnessing, the act of seeing as it unfolds where anything could happen, I think really keeps people's attention." Both Meerkat and Periscope are linked to Twitter - sending out notifications to followers at the start of a livestream. And while most are of mundane things such as people walking on the street or driving cars, experts think they can have a big impact in security, journalism and even retail. Khan has been testing the app for optimal viewership. SOUNDBITE: Azeem Khan, Digital Strategist, saying (English): "I think that medium length, two to three minutes seems to be the best. And you start to see after that, unless it is something that is really interesting that it starts tapering off." But there is a flipside. Some fear the apps encourage video piracy, after thousands tuned in to watch a costly boxing match, avoiding hefty pay per view costs. Van Every says broadcasters will have figure out ways to coexist with the new medium. SOUNDBITE: Shawn Van Every, Professor at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, saying (English): "It is going to be used in negative ways it is going to be used in positive ways. But I think the genie is out of the bottle I am not sure if we can put it back." Persicope is currently exclusively on iOS, while Meerkat is available on both Apple and Android devices.