Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Meerkat and Periscope make us all TV journalists

Meerkat and Periscope make us all TV journalists

The image of a TV news reporter is one that you’re probably quite familiar with. It’s almost a cliche; someone at the scene of something newsworthy, shouting into a microphone either for a direct news report or a live cross. Live TV news has put us directly in the scene of major disasters, helped to keep us informed, intermittently bored us when they’ve been filling time waiting for something to happen and provided endless bloopers you can look up on YouTube to fill time. Being news, not all the bloopers are entirely family-friendly, but that’s the essence of live broadcasting, because anything can happen, and Murphy’s well-known law often intervenes.

But what if you could be a one-person TV news reporter yourself?

It’s not that fanciful an idea when you think about what goes into providing a live stream of anything newsworthy, because the odds are very high that you’ve got everything you need in your pocket right now. The power of modern smartphones and high speed mobile networks means that, while you may not have the polish of a seasoned news reporter, there’s little stopping you from streaming whatever you’re doing to the whole world if the mood suits you.

Which is fine, but the other factor that most news bulletins have is an inbuilt audience. Viewers are accustomed to tuning into news at a specific time, or switching to a dedicated news channel, or even reading a news-centric website suited around whatever their interests might be.

That’s where the power of social media and two relatively new apps come into play, because they allow you to not only broadcast to as wide an audience as you’d like, but also to announce your broadcast to your social network, making it easy to build or grow an audience. These aren’t entirely new concepts again, but the recent launch of Meerkat and Twitter Periscope, both iOS apps only at the time of writing seems to have captured the popular imagination.

Both apps work in essentially the same way, built around the Twitter social network. Periscope is the slight newcomer, but as the name might suggest, it’s an actual product of Twitter itself, whereas Meerkat works from an external company. Both allow you to link in an existing Twitter account, announce a broadcast and then start broadcasting whatever’s in front of your iOS device at the time, whether it’s newsworthy content of major importance, or just something interesting happening nearby. From within either app you can see who’s actually watching your live stream, and even watch their Twitter-based interactions around your stream. Meerkat allows you to save your livestream when you’re done to your iOS device, whereas Twitter Periscope offers either device based saves or online saves, so others can watch concluded streams after the event. There’s some obvious benefits in either approach depending on whether you want to share to a wide audience that may rewatch and retweet your stream, or keep your stream private apart from those who “tuned in” to watch it live.

Will self-produced video broadcasts become the new selfies? I have my doubts. For a start, to get a decent video stream up and running you need a decent upstream rate, and for a lot of Australians that’s just not a factor at all. You can broadcast from mobile networks, and that can work quite well because most of those feature quite high upstream potential over 4G LTE, but then you hit the issue of cost prohibitive mobile data costs. Still, if you do find yourself (safely) near the next big news story, the potential is only an app away.


Recent News

Alongside an updated – and rather pricey in its own right – Apple iPad Pro, Apple recently announced an update to its MacBook Air line of laptop computers. The new iPad Pro is a rather specialised system launching at a very unfortunate time for Apple, but the MacBook Air remains Apple’s play towards the more

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic – which is, let’s not mince words here, a very serious issue indeed for every Australian – is seeing some swift and much-needed changes to the way we live our lives in order to maintain public health in these very difficult times. There are numerous businesses that are suspending operations, or

You’ve arrived home with your fancy new laptop and want to make sure that laptop lasts as long as possible. Good on you for thinking ahead and taking pride in your purchase! A laptop should last you many years if cared for properly. This article will explain some tips and techniques to ensure a long

The ongoing issues around the COVID-19 Coronavirus have many companies (where it’s applicable) trying to sort out ways for their workforces to work remotely, aka “work from home”. It’s an area I can actually claim a decent amount of expertise in, because I’ve mostly worked out of a home office for the best part of

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More