What Is Periscope? Is Periscope The Next Big Thing In The Social Media Space?

This is a valid question, considering Twitter’s live-video streaming app just became available for Android in late May 2015.  Up until then, it had only been available for iOS since March 2015.  The reception of Periscope has been overwhelming, as users are largely impressed with the ability to connect with each other in real-time.  In additional to personal use, celebrities and marketers are finding that fans love the ability to connect with the people they care about most.

Here is the real possibility to consider: Periscope has major potential for the future.  At this moment, we are seeing a lot of individuals simply “trying it out.”  This means there are multiple Scopes being broadcasted live with the title, “Ask me anything.”  As more and more influential users begin to accept live media, one can only imagine the possibilities for personal and business brands, alike.  It’s an entirely new field of social media, and it is here to stay.

What Is Periscope? Is Periscope The Next Big Thing In The Social Media Space?

Periscope is Intuitive and User-Friendly

There is something in a name, and Periscope holds itself to that standard.  In order to live-stream a video broadcast to the entire world, one only needs four things:

  1. A smartphone that runs on an Android or iOS platform
  2. A Twitter account;
  3. Internet access (data or Wi-Fi), and;
  4. The Periscope app, which can be downloaded from either Google Play or the Apple Store.

After logging into Periscope via one’s Twitter account, the user is instantly redirected to a feed of suggested live Scopes happening in real-time based upon Twitter usage, such as historical hashtag use and accounts that are currently followed.  The app is navigated by using a few, intuitive buttons which will redirect to other tabs, such as the global broadcast feed, a suggested users box, and the Periscope live broadcast launch screen.

The Basics of Using Periscope (Watch The Training Video Below)


Once one has decided to create his or her first broadcast, he or she is required to give it a title.  Keep in mind, since this Is Twitter’s live video streaming service, hashtag use applies here, if the goal is to be found by a potentially larger audience.  Upon pressing the red “Start Broadcast” button, a tweet is automatically sent from the broadcaster’s Twitter account, that looks something like this:

“LIVE on #Periscope: [The given title] periscope.tv/w/blaha8Dfs888”

As one can see Twitter has already hashtagged the tweet appropriately for individuals who are interested in the topic of Periscope.  A broadcaster can flip his or her smartphone camera to front or back view during the stream.  If a user has found the concept of a broadcast to be relevant, there will be a small live view counter that is located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.  It’s a “Smile for the camera – you are live!” moment for most and sobering for others.

How To Periscope With Your Followers

Periscope Turns Media into a Two-Way Communication Channel

There are a few ways that users can interact with a broadcast.  If they are watching via Periscope, the individual can tap their screens rapidly when they like something the broadcaster has said and tiny little hearts will float alongside the screen (it’s akin to receiving a ‘like’ or a ‘favorite,’ but quickly and repeatedly).  The floating hearts are an absolute feature favorite, and they really let the broadcaster know exactly how his or her audience is receiving the content.  Viewers can also send questions or comments to the broadcaster in a small chat box at the bottom of the screen.  However, one needs to be quick to answer!  The messages disappear as soon as more interactions appear.

However, viewers do not have to watch specifically through the Periscope app.  If they found the auto-generated Periscope tweet through Twitter, they can then watch the live-stream in any supported browser.  The only caveat is that browser-based viewers cannot interact with the broadcast as allowed by the app.

When the individual has decided to stop streaming, a simple swipe down from the top of the broadcast window will reveal a hidden menu.  Press the red, “Stop Streaming” button.  That’s all it takes to connect broadly with a world that is interested in the topic-at-hand.

Great Options Post-Broadcast = Repurposed Content

How to Repurpose Your Periscope Content

What happens after a broadcast is over?  One can choose to upload his or her broadcasts to their profile for a non-live replay or they can delete it forever.  Replay videos are only available for 24 hours unless the AutoSave Broadcast function is turned on under the user settings.  This option will allow someone to save it to their phone for later use, such as cross-posted content for a blog.  The only consideration to remember under this option is that the floating hearts or comments will not be available for viewing on the version saved to one’s phone.

Periscope Switches up the Marketing Game

Social media marketers and thought-leader influencers are always thinking leagues ahead of their competitors, which made Periscope an easy attractant for early adopters of technology.  In addition to the neo-Periscope era of social media, it acts like a genius multi-tool for industry professionals.  Marketers are able to consistently create content, measure its impact, and hopefully, converting viewers into website visitors and new customers.

Advertising Options Will Become a Priority While Remaining Second to User Experience

While Periscope has limited advertising options now, it is a certainty for the future, likely through suggested broadcasts based upon your followership, interests, and other means to make sure today’s brands are connecting with the people that want to hear from them.  That’s what is so incredible about social media advertising: Twitter knows exactly what a person’s interests are and with whom they are connected, which makes it easy for advertisers to sniper its messages to the right audience based upon demographics, geography, and psychographic behaviors.

Twitter was a little bit later than other platforms to introduce paid advertising.  It seems that the micro-blogging site has focused on its user’s verses cramming it one’s feed full of targeted, headlined, and remarketed advertorials.  One can expect the same to be true for Periscope, as most promotions of brands do occur organically through live Scopes already.

The Connection with Users Creates Valuable Face Time

Businesses can also connect with users for the purpose of creating content with substance.  While a great live stream marketing communications mix involves the ability to ask questions, marketers can gently direct the audience toward a meaningful conversation by using an appropriate title and appropriately deliver the information expected by the user.

Brands Have Already Taken the Plunge

Customer service can also be elevated through Periscope.  For example, a smart fitness band producer, such as Nike or Samsung, could send an email to its customers announcing a Periscope broadcast that will take place at a certain date and time titled, “Getting the Most from Your New Fitness Band.”  The company could structure a 10-minute stream of their product’s most important features.  Not only will this encourage greater usage of the smart fitness band, but it creates a sense of belonging among the buyer community, which is a major advantage for any brand.

A few real-time examples of how brands are currently using the app can be illustrated through Spotify.  The music-streaming service broadcasted a behind-the-scenes live stream interview with featured artist, Conor O’Brian from the band Villagers.  Viewers went wild with nearly 400 tuned in and over 1,500 hearts received.

The clothing company, DKNY, gave audiences a sneak peek of its fashion closet immediately after opening its Twitter account.  Mountain Dew titled a stream, “Stop by to say what’s up.”  Red Bull also tested the app during Miami Music Week last March, which created an almost-prodigious user response.

The possibilities to attract new and engaged audiences with Periscope are endless.  It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to such access, usually only afforded by VIPs.  Major companies and small businesses alike are certain to develop very thought-provoking ways to use Periscope.

Brands That Are Currently Using Periscope

News from a Different Point of View

The power of live video streaming in the hands of regular is very real.  Already, users are seeing unbelievable moments captured on Periscope through an unbiased lens of one person’s experience.  It is also possible to watch culturally important events through user streaming as well: conferences, sports, and political events can all be considered part of the newsworthy producing community’s inspiration and reason for creating.

Looking Through the Periscope

The best way to get the most from the app is to simply enjoy what one is watching by engaging with the broadcaster and interacting appropriately.  Conversely, for the one who is broadcasting, it is best to provide the viewing audience members with something that they can really enjoy and matches up.

The future of Periscope (and Twitter, for that matter) looks very bright.  While it is very new to the app and live-stream world, it won’t be going anywhere soon.  Quite frankly, Twitter has ultimately empowered everyone with a smartphone to produce a live video that is available for future use.

It’s your turn!

Are you on Periscope yet?  If so, why or why not?  Be sure to follow me on Periscope @ FollowNateLeung and I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments section below!

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