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Twitter on a roll as Periscope launches

Good times are rolling at Twitter (TWTR). The stock has been on a tear of late, and on Thursday, the social media giant launched its highly-anticipated Periscope app. Periscope will compete with the wildly popular live-streaming Meerkat app.

Meerkat caught on and caught on fast, gathering nearly half a million users in the past month. Before the Meerkat craze, Twitter purchased Periscope in January for a reported $100 million. Howard Lindzon, founder and Chairman of StockTwits, says Wall Street doesn’t understand how big a move that was. “Periscope should be gigantic,” he tells Yahoo Finance in the attached video.

Here’s how the two apps work: Take a video of yourself and the app notifies your friends and followers that you are streaming live video. Then they watch your personal broadcast live.

The concept is simple but it’s nothing new, despite the hype around the Periscope launch. Live-streaming start-ups have struggled to get users over the years. Think YouNow and Livestream.

But Meerkat and Periscope are changing the game, says Lindzon. “Live-streaming video has struggled through the years… All of a sudden you have this perfect storm,” he says. Lindzon is an investor in Meerkat and has a position in Twitter.

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Twitter may be the biggest winner in the battle over live-streaming apps, he says. “My gut feel is it’s a monster hit, and within that monster hit comes monster surprises. I think it’s very monetizable a la Snapchat… Therefore Twitter may be sitting on a hit Wall Street doesn’t understand,” says Lindzon.

It wasn’t long ago when Twitter shares were tanking and some investors began calling for CEO Dick Costolo’s head. But shares of the social networking site have been surging of late. Lindzon says Twitter’s best days are still to come.

“The stock market is an emotional place,” he says. “Goat yesterday, hero today, [but] the product’s great. We all know that.”

Given the strong performance in the stock of late and the acquisition of Periscope, Lindzon says Dick Costolo’s critics were wrong. “I just think it’s an impossible job and I think he’s done great. He’s taken the company from private to public. And the stock is up from the IPO… you’ve got to vote based on the stock price.”

And Twitter isn’t the only stock likely to benefit from the new fascination with mobile live-streaming. Telecommunications companies could get a lift too, says Lindzon. More live-streaming means more mobile phone use. “We could be facing a bait-and-switch by the telecom companies who have been whining about net neutrality but behind the scenes they see this coming and they are licking their chops.”

In the meantime, a Meerkat vs. Periscope debate is heating up among users, further boosting the buzz over these apps. Both companies are winning. On Thursday, Meerkat confirmed it has raised a round of funding led by Greylock Partners. The amount and valuation were not disclosed by the company.

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  • Media
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Twitter
  • Periscope
  • Howard Lindzon

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