Periscope-Engage with viewers in real time

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Twitter introduced Periscope last week and a few people are talking about it along with its live-streaming app competitor, Meerkat.

I have both apps on my phone, but I am loving Periscope.

In the marketing/startup news, people are talking about what might be the “Next Big Thing” in social/content marketing space, but let me be very clear that I am not writing this from marketing or business perspective. I don’t write my blog based on hype. Nor do I care what the next big thing is. I am writing this today because I love this new app called Periscope.

With Periscope, you can instantly live stream using your iOS device (at this point, it’s available only on iOS. I’m sure other versions will be available soon.) You can stream anything that is going on around you or you can flip the camera and stream yourself. Your broadcast is available to be viewed up to 24 hours after it went live.

I have always been a big fan of video communication. I love reading and writing, but you have to agree, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and if it’s a moving image, it might as well worth ten thousand words. I still do occasional videos but the hardest part of publishing a video content for me is the editing. With Periscope, no editing needed nor it is available.

In the business/startup world, we often talk about “What problem is this solving?” Paypal, Square, and even Facebook were created as solutions to its users’ problems. But I argue problem solving is not the only reason people use apps and services.

When the 6-second video app Vine came out back in 2013, Ann Handley wrote this article: Vine: Stupid, Simple and Brilliant and I related to this so much. I loved Vine, simply because it was FUN. I didn’t have to worry about editing, I just shoot and post. I still like Vine, but now the bar is set so high with super talented Viners, who use special effects and edits, (like this one), I’m mostly in the consuming side of that medium these days.

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I feel the same way about Periscope – It might not solve any problem, but I just find it FUN. With Periscope, unlike YouTube or Google Hangout, viewers can communicate with the broadcaster directly by tapping the screen (hearts will appear when you do this like above) or commenting. I’ve only done handful of Periscope live streaming, but the best part of it is to read the real-time comments. When my husband and I tried it he commented it was sort of like Chatroulette, although I never used the app. (But I know how it works.)
Note: Just like any semi/anonymous communication, there are some not-so-nice comments. Dailymail published this article warning parents of Periscope. I personally think it’s part of the medium, and just like anything else, you need to use it at your own risk. Remember Vine was full of porn when it first came out? I haven’t seen any offensive content on Periscope yet, but I’m sure there are out there, and that needs to be taken care of by the team.

Two people who are quite active on Periscope already are Viner Stewart Reynolds (AKA Brittlestar) and musician Daria Musk.


I’ve been enjoying Stewart’s vine creations (check them out here), but on Periscope, he started doing “Daily Plog” and have casual “chat with the viewers” sessions. I have notification on for Periscope when someone I follow goes live, so when I see that Stewart is live, I usually hop over. I can ask him questions directly about what he is talking about or showing us. “Engagement” has been a buzz word of 2014(or 2013?) but I can’t help but use the word here. “I like its ease-of-use and ease of sharing. People can immediately connect with you via Twitter and share that connection with their friends” says Stewart. He also says, “The broadcast aspect of it seems more appealing than Snapchat to me.” and I agree. I don’t get Snapchat. Maybe I find Snapchat a little too “in the moment” – Vine is a little longer, and Periscope just might be the right length for me.

Best #Periscope Pop-Up Concert yet! Debuted new tracks, dropped a surprise cover & even wrote songs on the spot!

Photo Courtesy of Daria Musk
Photo Courtesy of Daria Musk

Daria is an amazing singer and she has been doing live concerts on Google Handout, but she is very active on Periscope as well. She is doing pop-up mini live concert almost daily on Periscope. Like Stewart, when I see the notification that Daria is live, I usually hop on. We can directly request a song to her to play, which is awesome. (recently she did a great cover of Ed Sheeran song) I think this medium is great for any artists.

Photo Courtesy of David Meerman Scott
Photo Courtesy of David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott wrote about how this can be used to lifestream seminars and talks. He has been live streaming interviews with people he meets. We chatted briefly on Twitter that we are both still figuring out how to use the app, and he says it’s one of “The joys of being an early adopter”.

The app already has its own culture. One of them is the obsession to see inside the broadcaster’s fridge. I was asked by more than few viewers to show my fridge while doing the live stream. I have no idea how it came about or why anyone would want to see strangers’ content of fridge, but it is something definitely unique to this app.

The app is still in version 1.0.1, and there are still a lot of room for improvement. For example, at this point there is no way to save the broadcast and upload on the web later. (You can save the video on your camera roll, but it doesn’t include the hearts or comments from Periscope) Periscope livestreams are available for view up to 24 hours after the broadcast. But right now we cannot upload it onto the web, so there is no way to show the footage to non-iOS users or people who missed the live stream.

There is also no landscape option available. I did a quick live stream with my husband, and we couldn’t fit us both in the portrait screen when we are sitting side by side. When I turn the phone sideways, the viewers will see us sideways, were quickly told to fix it.

Like I said, the app is still new, and more features should come with future updates. I have several fun ideas to use Periscope. Be sure to follow me on Periscope(@YukariP) to see them yourself.