As someone that was pretty dismissive of Periscope and Meerkat when they launched, I’m surprised as anyone to be excited by the latest step taken by the former. My issue with giving everyone a way to live stream is that most of our lives are highly uninteresting. Combined with our vanity and feeling of self-importance, I predicted these feeds would be dull and unwatchable. I wasn’t wrong, and 99% of the videos on Periscope really are complete garbage. But from time to time, you do run across something entertaining and some of the people I have chosen to follow make it worthwhile to keep the app on my phone. One of the main reasons for the content being so largely vacuous is the limitation of only being able to send video from the front or rear cameras of your phone or tablet. In some cases you can rig a connection to an external camera but it doesn’t work that well. That limitation vanished today in a major way. With just a simple setting on your GoPro camera and an integrated button in the Periscope app, you can now feed video directly from the action camera. And that is a huge update.
A simple search will turn up thousands and thousands of action-focused videos on Youtube. Motorcycle riders, skateboarders, surfers, skydivers, snowboarders, daredevils, and fun-seekers like Casey Neistat have been uploading millions of hours of video documenting their stunts and adventures. Imagine now that all those people, craving a live audience and instant reciprocation from their viewers turn their attention to Periscope. And why wouldn’t they? Exposure is exposure. A nicely edited video of you jumping out of a plane can still go on Youtube with an accompanying track; but the raw unedited footage of the event happening live will attract a lot of eyes as well. The size of the audience that wants behind-the-scene access to some of their favorite YouTube stars is not insignificant. And since there is nothing stopping them from doing so, creators can easily use Periscope to promote their permanent videos and drive even more traffic to revenue-generating content. Since the live feed will still save on the GoPro’s SD card there is no doubt that they will continue to still use YouTube allowing them to leave their videos up indefinitely, collecting views and earnings, so there is no real threat to YouTube… yet.
Setting up the feed from the GoPro is easy:
- Connect to your GoPro’s WiFi, making sure it’s on video mode.
- Open Periscope on your iPhone & tap the broadcast button.
- The GoPro button will automatically be highlighted — so give your broadcast a title and go live.
The feature is iOS only (for now) and will ONLY work with the new GoPro Hero 4 Black and Hero 4 Silver. Once you’re up and running you can toggle the camera back and forth between the iPhone and the GoPro camera. The chat functionality remains on the phone screen. There is also an option to freeze the iPhone screen, so you can put it away and not worry about it.
Yes, there is still bound to be plenty of crap, but I’m hoping that it will now be more widely dispersed as people grab their GoPros, attach them to themselves, mount them on their boards, or strap them to drones and send them up. I mean come on… tell me you wouldn’t have watched Casey do this stunt live: