By: Charlie Kottler, Transcript correspondent
A new social media live streaming app is shaking up college campuses by allowing viewers to interact with live campus events like never before.
Twitter’s new live streaming companion app was launched this week. Twitter bought Periscope in January, but just released information about the new acquisition on March 26.
Periscope is going to be in direct competition with Meerkat, another popular live streaming app. Meerkat has only been on the iPhone App store since Feb. 27.
There are several colleges considering using Periscope to stream different types of campus events. Duke University has announced that it will be streaming its 2015 commencement via the app, in addition to its normal online stream.
“The addition of livestreaming video apps just adds another element to how we coordinate and coach students in the community here,” said Cara Rousseau, manager of digital and social media strategy at Duke University.
Unlike previous live audio and video broadcasting apps, Periscope has a very strong social media component. The app allows participants to share comments regarding the broadcast and chat others who are viewing the same stream.
Periscope has one particular advantage that makes it better than Meerkat, said sophomore Shashank Sharma, director of public relations for both Delta Tau Delta fraternity and Horizons International. This advantage is that Periscope saves broadcasts on the app for 24 hours, while Meerkat only allows broadcasts to be seen until they are over. Therefore, those that were unavailable to watch the live stream live still have the opportunity to watch.
“Campus events, meetings, and athletic competitions could be shown on this free app. This would allow others to experience OWU in a whole new way,” Sharma said.
Brian Rellinger, chief information officer at Ohio Wesleyan, shares a similar sentiment.
Rellinger said OWU currently utilizes StreamOWU to share video of selected events. He said that although StreamOWU covers almost all athletic events, they provide streams for only a small percentage of lectures and campus activities. He said using Periscope would increase viewership, as people outside the OWU community would become more likely to watch events via Periscope.
In addition, Rellinger thinks Periscope could enhance study-abroad programs for those who are participating and those students who are still on campus.
“I think it would be neat to have students on travel learning programs use the app to allow students on the OWU campus to have a glimpse into their experience,” Rellinger said.