Periscope: Twitter app off to flying start as it captures East Village explosion

The application allows users to give real-time video footage to followers

Payton Guion
Thursday 26 March 2015 23:21 GMT

An explosion rocked the East Village neighbourhood of New York on Thursday afternoon, and even before local news crews could arrive on the scene, users of the Periscope application helped break the news.

Periscope, a Twitter application that actually launched Thursday, allows users to live-stream video of their surroundings and New York users wasted no time in showing the utility of the app.

Live-streams of smoking buildings appeared just minutes after the explosion in New York City that ignited a blaze that eventually spread to four buildings, leading to two buildings collapsing.

Twelve people have been reported injured in the blast, with as many as four in critical condition. Firefighters continue to battle the blaze and figure to continue fighting until late into Thursday night.

But the quick response from Periscope users shows how effective the app can be at capturing breaking news. And helps explain why Twitter spent $100 million earlier this year to acquire the app.

Users can begin livestreams by downloading the app, and following the instructions to begin a video. A link to the feed can be automatically tweeted, informing followers that users have begun.

Anyone can tune in to the feeds, and comment or like the posts. The videos feature a small live chat, allowing viewers to discuss what’s happening in the video.

The app launched Thursday on iOS, with an Android version set to launch soon. Streams can also be viewed on any web browser, with or without a Periscope account.

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