*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on USA Today.
A year ago, live video streaming to a smartphone app was mostly talk.
But today, as Twitter's live video streaming app Periscope celebrates its first birthday, the company announced a big milestone — some 200 million live broadcasts have been streamed to date.
That’s up from 100 million in January, “So we’re seeing extraordinary growth in a short period of time,” says Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour.
The company says there are now so many live streams, they equate to 110 years of live video being watched every day on the app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.
A year ago, the South by Southwest conference had just ended, and live video via the Meerkat app was the talk of the show. Then Periscope popped out of the gate and stole the thunder, with its ease of use and ability to stream video directly to Twitter feeds.
By the end of 2015, Apple had named Periscope "App of the Year," and Facebook jumped loudly into live video streaming as well. Now Facebook users can record live directly into News Feeds.
And just last week came word that Google may be looking to start a new live video streaming app for YouTube, YouTube Connect.
Fans took to Periscope as the easiest form of video making. There's no big production skills — just hold up the smartphone to your face and show what you see, and when you're done, press stop. There's no fancy video editing or transfer process needed. Along the way, get massive feedback from folks all over the world, who respond with animated hearts and questions.
Periscope took off thanks to a “confluence” of events — better network, software and ubiquity of smartphones able to pull in high-speed connections, says Beykpour. “Live video used to mean a 30- to 60-second delay. You could get it done with a video camera tapped to a big backpack and a laptop, but that wasn’t for the consumer.”
Beykpour says “being able to see what’s happening in real time anywhere in the world is a super power. You can see a map of the world, zoom into a neighborhood, and go someplace with a breaking news event and step into the shoes of someone there and talk to them — that’s crazy.”