This week we check out some social apps for live-streaming video from smartphones, and we find out how interactive documentaries are moving journalism forward.

PART 1: Mobile streaming apps

Several social apps have made it easy to stream live video directly from smartphones while simultaneously interacting with viewers. We explore the features of three different apps.
Reporting by Andrew Hébert.

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Some options for mobile live-streaming:

  • Periscope is owned by Twitter and just recently launched integration so viewers can watch Periscope streams without leaving the Twitter app.
  • Meerkat was the first of the social streaming apps to gain widespread use. Although it has since been eclipsed by Periscope in terms of users, it still offers some useful features.
  • Hang w/ offers similar live-streaming functions but also has an ability for viewers to tip each other inside the platform.
  • YouNow is another streaming platform being used by media companies like The Huffington Post.
  • YouTube has an option for mobile live-streaming thanks to the built-in capability of smartphones from Samsung and Sony.
  • Mentions is an app from Facebook that enables “public figures who are verified on Facebook” to live-stream directly from the app and post updates to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

PART 2: Journalism and interactive documentary

William Uricchio, principal investigator for the MIT Open Documentary Lab, says that journalism’s role is changing from presenting facts to becoming an enabler of conversation. The lab’s latest report, “Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures,” shows how the intersection of digital journalism and interactive documentaries has become part of that shift. We offer some highlights from the report.
Reporting by Daniel Shapiro.

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Other projects from the MIT Open Doc Lab:

Moments of Innovation” is an interactive timeline that explains the new ideas that have shaped the documentary form through the years.

DocuBase is a curated database of interactive documentaries, technologies and innovators.


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