In perhaps the first sign that live streaming might spawn its own assortment of sub-players, a visual data analysis startup is putting its chops to work to categorize and rank videos on Periscope, the app owned by Twitter.
Dextro, which uses algorithms to analyze the content of photos and videos, is launching Stream on Tuesday. It’s a web app that categorizes and links to videos posted publicly in Periscope as they’re broadcast in real time.
Periscope’s popular, having gotten 1 million users in its first 10 days. The amount of video in the app can be overwhelming; Dextro wants to make it easier to see some of the popular ones.
With Stream, users can browse videos around popular topics on Periscope at any given time. Videos are grouped into bubbles depending on their theme. The size of the bubble depends on its popularity at the time and a click reveals the videos inside.
Stream also ranks elements in videos have been popular over the week, and the most popular elements of the day. Last week, selfies took the lead, with videos containing baseball caps and dogs trailing behind.
Stream’s specificity depends on what exactly Dextro’s technology is able to identify. It’s done well at identifying live crowds, but a shortcoming is video shot in landscape mode, which has thrown off Dextro’s system.
Still, “We thought that Stream would be a way to solve the discoverability and searchability problems that are happening on Periscope right now,” said David Luan, cofounder at Dextro.
As it stands now, Periscope’s app highlights current live streams and recent ones from people users follow. A separate tab displays other streams globally, but without categorization.
It’s unclear how Periscope, or owner Twitter, might respond to an app like Stream. Periscope, in its terms, says users grant it a license to distribute their videos to outside partners, but Dextro did not partner with Periscope or Twitter for its service.
Users don’t need accounts on Periscope to view Periscope videos on Stream.
Dextro otherwise provides data analysis services to companies that want to learn more about digital videos and photos—either those uploaded to their own sites or elsewhere. A marketing agency, for instance, might use Dextro to see which products or brands appear in a group of videos, and at what point during those videos. Alongside the launch of the consumer-facing Stream app, Dextro expanded its business services on Tuesday to include live streaming.
Meanwhile, some other sites have cropped up aiming to aggregate videos posted on Meerkat, another live streaming app, and Periscope, though without Dextro’s organization. Those sites include MeerkatStreams.com and OnPeriscope.