RJI Futures Lab #173: Comparing Live-Streaming Apps

    by Rachel Wise
    November 17, 2016

    Reporting by Hailey Godburn and Rachel Wise. 

    It’s never been so easy to just hop on a live video stream and broadcast to the world from wherever you are. So now that anyone with a smartphone can do this, the question is which tool makes the most sense to use? In this episode, we compare three different live-streaming services — Facebook Live, Kanvas for Tumblr and Periscope. We also take a look at what YouTube has in development for going live.

    For more information:

    • Facebook Live works from both the Facebook mobile app and website.
    • Facebook offers a look at videos streaming in real time around the world on its live map feature.
    • Periscope first launched in March 2015, about a month after its earliest competitor Meerkat debuted. Both apps integrated directly with Twitter, but Meerkat failed to keep up with Periscope and called it quitsearlier this year.
    • Tumblr launched live-streaming capabilities in June. The platform allows streaming only through third-party services, including Kanvas, YouNow, Upclose and YouTube.
    • For some, the appeal of Kanvas is the creativity it allows and the ability to add effects, filters, GIFs and drawing overlays.
    • In June, YouTube announced it would begin rolling out a new mobile live-streaming option for select users. Currently, any user can stream live to YouTube from a desktop or laptop computer.


    Rachel Wise is an editor at the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    RJI Futures Lab web bannerThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: apps facebook kanvas live-streaming apps livestreaming periscope rji upclose younow youtube

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