Periscope: A social media app for business?

Acquired by Twitter this year, the up and coming live streaming app lets start-ups produce short films without hefty upfront costs

What is Periscope?

Periscope is a live streaming app, which allows anyone with a smartphone (iOS or Android) to broadcast to other users around the world for free.

The start-up was bought by Twitter in March 2015, from founders Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein, for a reported $100m.

     

 Periscope user broadcasting    “Visit the Taj Mahal with me”    
 video of man playing a             – Periscope allows people         
 piano from a train station        around the world to share
                                                     in incredible experiences live

How does it work?

Periscope allows you to “explore the world through someone else’s eyes”.

‘Broadcasters’ need only open the app, hit the red icon, name their broadcast and start filming whatever they’re doing, live.

          

Starting your broadcast           Viewers can comment
with Periscope – Just select       on videos live during

Private or Public broadcast,     a Periscope broadcast
name
your film, and start
streaming

Users/viewers can influence the content of the broadcaster’s live film by commenting or sending their love through hearts, thereby giving instant feedback to the person filming.

Why should I use Periscope for my business?

How many times have you wanted to produce a short film for your start-up, and been put off by production costs? Periscope cuts out that expense. Your other fear may have been producing something on the cheap, and worrying that the bad results will be online forever for all to see. This live streaming app allows anyone to be the star of their own show, the authenticity of no editing makes Periscope a more approachable medium of communication than through a camera on a tripod.

Periscope is also a cost-effective method of reaching a young audience. As organisations such as the BBC have realised (with the recent announcement that its teen and young adult channel BBC3 will be going exclusively online), younger audiences are moving away from traditional live TV and are using catch-up services via mobile more and more. This audience is also already a fan of the quick and unedited format, as seen by the popularity of vloggers like Zoella, who made it big filming from her bedroom.

Who else is using Periscope?

Your fellow ‘scopers’ will be made up of your Twitter connections. Celebrity users include Alexa Chung and Roger Federer, cosmetics brands like Smashbox and retailers such as House of Fraser have also jumped on board.

As your broadcasts can be private as well as public, encourage your Twitter followers to join and add you on Periscope to stream straight to the people you want to reach most.

            

Cosmetics brand Smashbox has launched a regular Tuesday ‘scope’ with make-up artist Lori Taylor. Broadcasts are available to view for 24 hours after they are first streamed

Any drawbacks?

Beware the trolls – live commenting can be ugly. Twitter has tried to crack down on inappropriate content, but those nasty live comments are hard to control. Like any social media, try to mitigate the risk of random people ruining your fun by only connecting with the audience that’s right for you.

Try to make sure you have permission to film people, and equally be aware of potential copyright infringement from scopers on your content.

Holly Hathaway is the social media expert at The Internet Works, a boutique digital agency in London. For more information contact the TIW team.

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