Periscope: What, How, Why, and Where

Jul 2015

When FaceTime and Skype were first introduced to the public, it was pandemonium. The ability to live-stream video chat with anyone around the world on a mobile device was unheard of, and this innovation changed the way we communicate and conduct business in the modern age. It seems every few years or so, technological engineers find ways to make communication that much easier – across time, space, and a wide variety of mediums. Periscope, a new app that has made a big splash in the tech world, is the most recent evolution of live video. The twist? Periscope is not simply a means of video chatting: it’s a social network as well, allowing users to broadcast their videos to a wider audience, receive “hearts” as appreciation for their videos, and even receive on-screen comments from viewers they allow to join their feed.

Photo Credit: @martinsmanu_

Background & basics:

Interesting fact about Periscope: it was acquired by Twitter in March of 2015 for $100 million! This means that in addition to using the service through the app, you can also access Periscope on Twitter, tweeting a series of links that connect to the live stream. It is available in the app store for both Apple and Android users as a free application. However, users should be warned: piracy issues abound! Don’t get caught scoping the next concert or movie you attend; you could be hit with some hefty fines. Recently, a journalist covering the PGA tour had her press license revoked after live-broadcasting the practice round at a tournament.

How to use and best practices:

The beauty of Periscope is its interactive nature; in real time, you can not only give people a front row seat on your current world view, but you can allow your audience to direct your video with questions and comments that appear publicly on your screen. The app is optimized to shoot vertical video, and is fairly intuitive in its format. As previously discussed, the point of differentiation for Periscope is the ability to broadcast to as many viewers as you choose. You can also “heart” a specific broadcaster if you particularly enjoy their stream, and under the “people” tab, see which users are on the “Most Loved List.”

The true purpose of periscope is to allow your network of followers to see a slice of your life they may otherwise not have access to. Just climbed one of the highest mountains in your area? Take a periscope from the summit! Unique views are what scopers are tuning in to see, so show them something they couldn’t otherwise experience. Furthermore, don’t scope if you aren’t prepared to address questions and comments from your viewers. Because it is designed to be interactive, the most popular feeds are those that are fan-directed, not shot to be passively consumed (that’s what YouTube is for.) Lastly, the app has an archive feature that allows you to store videos for up to 24 hours, giving you a solid window to share your content with those who weren’t able to view it live.

Why you should download:

Our society places high value on exploring new frontiers, and that is exactly what Periscope provides. It allows viewers the opportunity to see the world from someone else’s perspective, even if that someone happens to be halfway around the globe. For the travel and tourism business, the marketing opportunities via Periscope are endless. Yet even in more subtle ways, Periscope could be a powerful tool for businesses that want to share a slice of their life with the public that is a little more personal and engaging than traditional video production. In the realm of digital marketing, Periscope holds plenty of opportunity for new and creative ways of reaching customers on a more personal, direct level.

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