I think Meerkat and Periscope are really interesting tools and have a lot to offer. I used Meerkat to showcase campus tours. For some reason, I was having a hard time with the Wi-Fi not connecting, so I didn't have any followers because the connection was so poor. I had to try to post the link several times, so by the time I got it working it was kind of a missed opportunity.
I used Periscope to show the dogs on the front lawn. That was pretty cool because I had a bunch of followers asking questions that I was able to answer. The whole scene was inherently visual and offered a lot of opportunities to talk to people. I did get some weird interactions from creepy people who were streaming my video, but I really liked the idea of what it had to offer.
As far as the ability to capture breaking news, I think the tools are pretty cool. Though it depends on your internet situation/data plan, if the tool was working flawlessly, it would be able to show a lot of stuff in real time that you wouldn't be able to if you were just recording video. I like that you have the live perspective and can just show exactly what's happening without the ability to edit things (with the exception of just omitting what you don't want to show).
It seems like we really captured the height of conversation around the tools on Monday. That afternoon, a notification popped up on my phone that someone I know in the professional sales world was live streaming a car ride in an Enterprise rental car. I've since read a bunch of articles about live streaming, and whether or not the tools are going to do all of the cool, influential things that they are being predicted to do. It's funny to see what people decide to live stream and what viewers will decide to care about and watch.
There are a lot of ethical issues that come to mind with the tools, though. I think about how people will react knowing that anything they could be doing has the potential to be live streamed to the entire world. I also think about when the first big issue with one of these tools will arise. There's a lot of potential for people, especially college students, to abuse the benefits of the tools. The same way Yik Yak has been harmful to people for its anonymous principles, Meerkat and Periscope could expose people's private lives without consent.