The Week on Politwoops: Periscope eyes Meerkat

The logos of Meerkat and Periscope appear over the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

Just one week after delving into Meerkat, politicians are checking out Periscope, the latest app to live-stream video.

Periscope, even though it only launched yesterday, is already being used as a verb and showing up in Politwoops, Sunlight’s archive of deleted tweets from politicians. The first deletion came from the account of Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, that said, “LIVE on #Periscope: Test broadcast” with a link to the video. Kasich’s account later shared a tweet with the broadcast of a press conference.

The race is on for which app will be the preferred streaming service for politics, but each has slightly different features relevant to Politwoops. Meerkat launched first and became a standout at the SXSW conference, establishing a user base head start. Last week, Politico’s Dylan Byers declared that Meerkat “officially became the social media tool of the 2016 presidential election,” and former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer wrote a post titled, “How Meerkat is Going to Change the 2016 Election for Every Campaign, Reporter and Voter.” Pfeiffer hedges a bit, saying, “2016 is going to be about Meerkat (or something just like it).” Periscope is something quite like Meerkat, but is owned by Twitter, who actively handicaps competitors using their user’s established connections. Other differences of Periscope include the ability to comment on a stream without tweeting the comment as well as saving videos for followers to re-watch later by default.

When Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., deleted a tweet through Meerkat last week, the link showed the stream was over and two people watched it. The Meerkat link also displayed a screenshot from the broadcast of a television tuned to an interview with New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters. If you open the link in the deletion from Kasich using Periscope, you see similar statistics about the number of viewers and time of the broadcast, but you can also play the entire broadcast again. This feature makes deletions from Periscope archived by Politwoops much richer. There will be tame and honest mistakes, but archived video from a deleted broadcast offers a new medium for messaging that politicians would rather hide.

As always, please send me an email if you find accounts that Politwoops is missing, and have a great weekend!