The rise of live-streaming apps this year has proven a boon to journalists, media organizations, and everyday people who find themselves standing at the center of a news event — and those who want to watch them unfold. But their drop-everything-and-look nature can be addictive, and frequent broadcasters wind up spamming the notifications of the people who follow them. It's been my biggest complaint about Periscope, Twitter's live-streaming app, from day one. Today the company took an important step to fix it.
An update to Periscope's iOS app lets you mute users on a per-account basis. So if most of the accounts you follow Periscope only rarely, but one person Periscopes multiple times a day, you can now stop that person from sending you a push notification every time they go live. To mute someone, open their profile and tap the button next to the "following" icon. Their broadcasts will still appear in your feed when you open the app, but they will no longer interrupt you. It's an important step toward reducing the thirst of the trigger-happiest users.
Mute is part of a broader update to the iOS app that also lets you update your language preferences so that broadcasts in your global list of recent broadcasts are in a language you actually speak. (By default, Periscope will use whichever language you have chosen in your device's settings.) The updated app also now shows you viewer statistics for your past broadcasts, and uses the Handoff feature in iOS to let you transition watching a broadcast from one device to another — from your desktop to your phone, say.
The update is available now in the App Store. It is not yet available on Android.