Periscope and Spontaneous Attention Seeking

The new generation of mobile video streaming apps, Meerkat and Periscope, promise “spontaneous togetherness” and exploration of the world through “someone else’s eyes”. It’s still early days, but let’s take stock of this real-time multimedia world we’ve created, together, in just the past few days.

  • “Whoa, this thing works! Crazy! Like, streaming!?! To the INTERNET!?”
  • “Interview with the VP of Product for Twitter!” — Chris Sacca
  • “Oh my god. Like 18 random people on the internet are watching this. RIGHT NOW! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!! Dude, you gotta get this app.”
  • “This is my fridge.”
  • “Hearts for a follow! Subscribe to my YouTube channel!”
  • “Show your boobz.”
  • Boobs. Teenagers doing Jaeger shots and bong rips. Frat brothers doing lines of coke. No one over 21.
  • Guy masturbating.

I think I saw all of that in the past hour.

Are these products the natural evolution of the broadcaster platform? Are they just magnets for attention seekers? Is the world ready for YouTube troll commentary in real time? Can the casual surfer find good content? Will broadcasters be able to find traction with their audience through an ephemeral medium?

Lots to learn. Lots to iterate on. But one thing is for certain — it is really amazing watching a whole new culture unfold and try and define itself right in front of your eyes. In real time.