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Twitter cleverly gave Periscope to a number of tech-savvy celebrities to test and while their audiences were necessarily small during the pilot stage, I can see them rapidly learning how to engage directly with fans, just as they have with other social media platforms.Twitter Introduces "Periscope" Video Streaming [bbc.co.uk]
The key technological trick in live streaming video is cutting latency - in other words, reducing the delay between the broadcaster and the audience. And Periscope appears to have cracked it. I did a test by counting to 10 and asking people to message me the moment I got there. They responded almost immediately.
Overall, Twitter's new baby does seem a more polished product overall than Meerkat. It also allows you to publish the videos for later viewing, which must mean that they will get bigger audiences. But it shares one annoying characteristic with its rival - it works only in portrait mode, giving you vertical video.