Instalively review: How it stacks up in against Periscope, Meerkat

Live-streaming might still be in its nascent phase, but improved network infrastructure will be key if more and more Indians take to this.

Written by Krishna Vamsi | New Delhi | Updated: June 30, 2015 6:43 pm
Instalively, instalively app, new apps, app reviews, livestreaming apps, live streaming apps, news apps, top android apps, social media apps, technology news, tech news, android app reviews Instalively lets you to live-stream and broadcast videos on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp with the help of your YouTube account. (Source: app screenshots)

How feasible is the idea of using a live-streaming app over a 3G network?

If you are willing to shell around Rs 5 (Average values over networks) for 10 MB of data, for every 30 seconds of video you broadcast; then let’s get talking about this new app which might help you out.

Instalively lets you to live-stream and broadcast videos on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp with the help of your YouTube account. The app is not yet available on Google Play, instead an (.apk) file can be downloaded form the official website, which can be later transferred to your device and installed.

Instalively’s also uses YouTube for its server requirements – Which, of course, puts all the copyright and privacy of YouTube in place.

Just 3 steps to live-streaming

The app is simple to use. Turn on your GPS, give a title, set the social platforms where you wish to post the video, and it’s live online. Well, it’s not exactly live everywhere. Only those have the link can view the video. By default, the video is marked in the ‘Unlisted’ category on your YouTube dashboard which can be later changed to ‘Private’ or ‘Public’.

If we talk about the relative advantage of Instalively once the broadcast ends, you can playback the video any time on YouTube.

Of course, Periscope also let’s you to save the video on its own server for a playback later. But Meerkat does not have this option.

The video quality takes a hit if across live-streaming apps in general from Periscope to Meerkat to Instalively. No matter what app you use, the video broadcasts are fuzzy. Though most apps claim to provide high resolution videos, they more or less fall in the zone of 360 p.

One possible explanation: When we talk about sending (or uploading) videos and images on to the servers, another covert parameter which comes into play and that is the upload speed. No matter what data plan you subscribe to, the upload speed, in most cases, is always less than the download speed which the telecom company provides (at least in India). And live-streaming survives on upload speed.

As live-streaming needs continuous upload speed, so reduced speed due to inadequate network coverage, or congestion compresses or downscales (by the server) the video being broadcasted compromising on the quality. TRAI has just started with a proposal to set a minimum download speed of data on 2G and 3G networks, but upload speed? It’s still a grey area.

In a report published by UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, the upload speed is ideally “seven times faster on 4G network than on 3G network.” In India where, according to a study led by Facebook-led internet.org, only about 13% of the country is using 3G and 4G networks.

Live-streaming might still be in its nascent phase, but improved network infrastructure will be key if more and more Indians take to this.

Filters

Another USP of Instalively is the 12 colour filters which it provides. User can toggle between these filters to add effects to videos on-the-go. For the world, which has gone INSTA-everything and where everyone’s identity is defined by their social profiles, I guess ‘video-effects’ is another brownie point for the broadcasts.

Periscope and Meerkat both don’t have colour filters.

Something which is disappointing in most of the live streaming apps is that they don’t show the time lapsed for the video. You don’t get to know how long you’ve been live-streaming for. They miss this feature which is an absolute requirement to keep a mental note of the data consumption if we are using the app on a 3G network, especially when data-plans have gotten more expensive in India (remember, 30 seconds = 10 MB = Rs 5).

So which one is the best?

In my opinion, Instalively has an edge over Periscope and Meerkat. Simply because it lets you view the videos on desktops for the links it generates. Twitter’s Periscope only caters to users who have the app registered on their mobile devices. With Meerkat, the playback option does not even exist. Given that social media has made recording and broadcasting special moments of our life absolutely vital, Instalively feels like a good app to get.

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