The iOS version of Periscope, Twitter's live-streaming app, received an update yesterday that brought with it a new map view. The new view lets users browse streams from specific locations around the world, selecting live broadcasts from different areas by zooming in on countries, cities, and towns. Streamers will see their broadcasts appear automatically on the map view if they enable location data sharing in the app.
Streamers need to enable location data to appear on the map
The addition goes some way to fixing Periscope's biggest problem — namely, that it's been tricky so far to find streams actually worth watching in the Twitter-owned app. But the update doesn't resolve privacy questions that have plagued Periscope for a while now. Locations are accurate down to a block radius, meaning it wouldn't be too tricky to use the new map to track a local streamer down mid-stream and bust into their broadcast. That's not necessarily a problem for Periscopers in public spaces — as The Verge's own Sam Sheffer was recognized during a stream on the street earlier this month — but it means viewers could find nearby home addresses from broadcasters by simply zooming into the map view.
To make the app more appealing to that global citizenship, yesterday's update also added support for 29 languages. In a blog post announcing the changes, the Periscope team said that its first idea for the app was built around a map, but the idea was shelved because the company wasn't sure it would have enough broadcasts to make the view appear compelling. In addition to the map view, the updated Periscope now makes video replays instantly available after a stream is finished. The changes have only been rolled out to the iOS version of the app so far, but Twitter will likely bring them to Periscope's recently launched Android app in the coming weeks.