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What are all the hip tech kids talking about these days? It's no longer Snapchat or gossip apps like YikYak. It's not even Meerkat. The newest big news is Periscope, Twitter's just acquired mobile live streaming app. It's already signed up a million users in its first ten days.
Periscope allows you to watch live broadcasts as well as recently recorded videos. These videos can be public, available to all your Twitter followers, or private, allowing you to just invite your besties. Think of it as a mix of Internet video services like Youtube or Vine, and more person-to-person video communication, like Skype or FaceTime -- all channeled through Twitter.
So, will it be useful for your practice?
Twitter obviously thinks it has potential and is using Periscope's early success to push back against poorer performance in other areas. Will it be a success for lawyers? The answer is, as with all things law, "it depends."
If you've already gone full Twitter, integrating it into your daily life and practice, then Periscope allows you to get even more functionality out of the messaging platform. You could use Periscope to pop in to conferences or meetings that you can't be present physically attend. We can image using Periscope to check in with support staff or broadcast (privately) depositions. Enterprising lawyers could even use it as a way to reach new clients, sharing legal updates or video blogs.
While you can do these things with other services, Periscope's Twitter integration makes the process more streamlined -- there's no need to track down everyone's email, Skype account, Google Hangouts and whatnot.
If you're not on board the Twitter train, then Periscope may be of less use. If you're looking to reach the general public, sites like YouTube still have a much higher audience. If you've already set up your firm's videoconferencing systems through something like Skype, Periscope's private streams might not be enough to cause you to switch over just yet.
If, as some argue, mobile live streaming is the future and not a fad, Periscope could be leading the avant garde. For tech-savvy lawyers, it's at least worth keeping an eye on.