Last month, Twitter announced its $100 million acquisition of Periscope. Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo said that video is only going to become more of a focus for the micro-blogging social network.
You may have heard some news: It involves a blue bird. #YouCanGuessTheRest #WeJoinedTheFlockInJanuary #AreWeUsingThisRight #IsThisThingOn
— Periscope (@periscopeco) March 13, 2015
Periscope is the, if you will, lead surfer on the new wave of content marketing and social media. It (and its twin brother, Meerkat) are the first pioneers to introduce live-streaming video sharing to the masses. I hopped on the app to try it out and this is what I discovered.
But first —
What is Periscope?
Periscope is mobile phone app for users to turn on the videocamera of their phone for other users to watch. In other words, I can broadcast video from from my iPhone anywhere in real-time for the world to see.
Another way to define Periscope is that it is YouTube live. The difference between YouTube and Periscope is that YouTube is full of produced videos of things that have already occured. Periscope is full of raw videos, happening in the moment.
A week after launch, Periscope published an article showing examples of how people were using the app, including a tour of Glacier National Park, a monologue rehearsal by Jimmy Fallon, and how to paint a flower tutorial.
Even Tennessee received a less-than-surprising shoutout…
“a church service in Tennesse” —@periscopeco https://t.co/XbKPhQVWRK pic.twitter.com/xMIWPZdBG3
— Dave Schools (@DaveSchools_) April 10, 2015
How Do I Use Periscope?
While it may seem geared more towards celebrities with large audiences, the Periscope app actually has a number of uses for anyone and everyone.
If you are wondering how to use the app, here is a list of what to broadcast on Periscope:
- Cutting-edge events – the number one purpose of Periscope is capturing and sharing in-the-moment happenings RIGHT NOW. No more delay. No more editing. Brands are using Periscope to do a soundcheck on The Voice, WUSA9’s breaking news stories, and Sony Pictures Paul Blart movie previews.
- Instant feedback situations – Periscope has an interactive feature where viewers can comment and “heart” the broadcast. This allows the broadcaster to react to viewer feedback. For example, if a news reporter was interviewing a panel of experts, viewers could generate questions for the panelists to answer.
- Interactive games – I flipped on Periscope to help with a game of Banagrams (speed Scrabble). I had 34 onlookers, several commenting with possible letter combinations. All I had to do was point the camera at my letters and viewers put the letters together for me. This “collaborative gameplay” could be applied to any number of games (chess, card games, crossword puzzles, etc.).
- How-tos & recipes – Cooking bloggers and chefs can set up their phone periscope their live culinary sessions for others to join. Schedule a set weekly time and have your own “TV” show! Auto mechanics, artists, musicians and other creators can do the same.
- Phenomena in nature – How often do you get to see Yosemite Falls, the Berlin Wall, or a kangaroo? These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences for some of us, but now with Periscope, I can see these sights as they are happening through someone else’s eyes.
- Interviews – I was watching an interview on YouTube one time and I was dying to ask the expert a question. I was hoping the host would ask the question but he never did and the video clip ended. I was disappointed. Now, with Periscope, viewers can comment with their questions while the interview is happening. This is a great way to engage an audience most effectively.
Thought: #AMA is a growing trend on the Internet. If you are not familiar with AMA, it stands for Ask Me Anything. It’s a great way to pick the brain of someone online. I foresee Periscope being the next step in AMA – a more visual and communicative medium than traditional text.