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Sparked by SXSW hype and a bit of a media battle via a Twitter acquisition, Meerkat and Periscope have caused quite the stir in the social app space in recent weeks.

Feel like you’re missing something? Here’s what you need to know: both apps allow users to instantly broadcast what’s happening in front

of them; purchased by Twitter in January, Periscope is currently leading the way (at publishing of this post, Periscope had climbed its way to number 44 in Apple’s Top Free Apps); and the content you’ll find so far is equal parts informative and just plain weird.

So far, we’ve watched as users were able to broadcast live from a building explosion in Manhattan and on the stranger side, #fridgeview continues to trend. In case you’re still wondering, that’s exactly what you think it might be, users streaming what you’ll find in their fridges.

While it’s easy to write this phenomenon off as another chapter in narcissistic millennials, if we look a little deeper, we start to uncover a trend worth paying close attention to.

Periscope and Meerkat are designed primarily as social sharing experiences, but beyond that, they call back to the same satisfaction millions of users find in battling alongside strangers within Clash of Clans or becoming royalty amongst a city in Waze, they connect us. In an age of instant, we’re not only broadcasting ourselves, but making the world a smaller place with every interaction. Beyond a photo captured on Instagram or a six second video on Vine, Meerkat and Periscope now grant us a first person POV into what’s unfolding in front of someone else, in real time, without filter or edit.

This is what games have done so well for years, taken giant, self sufficient worlds, made them smaller and invited us to join in. They allow us to escape, if only for a second. Mash that behavior with the real world and we have something quite powerful at our fingertips.

We’re only scratching the surface with what’s possible here, but as we approach a world in 2020 where  90% of the world’s population will own a mobile phone, connecting experiences, whether they be capturing events that alter the history books or the simply finding a shared connection over not being the only one who keeps funfetti icing in the fridge for sweet tooth emergencies (I can’t be alone there), connecting our shrinking world is worth tuning in for.

Interested in learning more? Join us for our next lunch and learn on April 21, The Rise of Live Streamed Video Content and What it Means for your Brand. Sign up here.