Within its first week of being made available on the iPhone app store over one million users joined Periscope to begin using their iPhones to live stream whatever they wanted to show their Twitter followers. At the same time a similar live streaming app, Meerkat, debuted at South By Southwest.

Periscope and Meerkat are live video streaming apps for iOS and Android. The startup behind the Periscope app was purchased by Twitter for a reported $100 million in March 2015. After acquiring Persicope, Twitter cut off Meerkat’s access to it social graph. Although no longer accessible via Twitter, Meerkat is still available for download. Time will tell if Meerkat figures out a way to remain competitive in this new market. 
On March 26, 2015, Twitter officially went public and relaunched the Periscope application on iOS under its own App Store account, and also made the service available to Android users.
To begin what is referred to as “scoping” users simply install the Persiscope app, synchronize it to their Twitter accout, and begin streaming a live feed from their phone. Everyone who is following them on Twitter can instantly see what they are broadcasting in real time. Periscope also gives users an option to let anyone play the stream back.
Follow us on Twitter @LBIndependent. We will be streaming live music and Long Beach music related content via Periscope, with artist and venue permission of course!
As an interactive medium users can communicate directly with viewers while they are “scoping” by tapping on the screen to send “hearts” indicating that they like what they are viewing. The more hearts a live stream is receiving the higher up on list of available streams the broadcast becomes. Watchers can also use the comment feature to communicate directly with the person showing the live feed and other viewers who are also watching. 
This new user-generated technology comes with the same video piracy and copyright infringement controversies that accompanied YouTube and Napster.
As this new technology becomes more commonplace in Long Beach we will have to be intentional about using it in ways that are both fair and responsible to the future growth of our music scene. New technology can be a useful tool to help artists and venues gain new audiences, but as history has also shown, free access can become an unwanted nuisance that hurts businesses and artists.
Please share your thoughts and ideas about live streaming from your phone on The Long Beach Independent Facebook page . Does unprecedented access help or hurt an independent music scene?
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About the Author

Jewell Faamaligi

Jewell Faamaligi is an arts and culture activist affiliated with several nonprofit organizations in Long Beach. She also serves as the Downtown Council Area Representative for the Long Beach Music Council.

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