Periscope is the live streaming video platform owned by Twitter. It recently pretty much took out Meerkat. Individual shows on Periscope are called broadcasts or scopes. The app is completely integrated with Twitter and viewers can interact with your scope LIVE by typing in the comments section. Those comments then appear right there in your live feed.
The app is pretty amazing. You interact in real time with another human being while they are broadcasting from wherever they are. Normally, local, regional scopers appear in your “Periscopes to watch” feed, but hit ‘map’ view and you can watch anyone, anywhere in the world scope their hearts out.
It may just be the future of intimate, yet public video content.
I’ve learned a lot while spending my first week on the platform, both from scoping myself and from watching other scopes. Here are some of those thoughts —
1. You have to bake in that interaction feature into your original concept.
The stuff I’ve scoped that works the best and the stuff that I’ve seen that works the best from other broadcasters has the comment factor as a core part of the idea. For example, I did a scope where I hand drew suggestions made by commenters. As a result, I drew two frogs playing beer pong, a dragon playing football, a flying ninja turtle, etc. It was probably one of my better scopes. A Periscoper named Kyle Kittleson does a weekly scope called, #ClosetConfessions. During Closet Confessions, Kyle sits in his actual closet and enlists people in ‘confessing’ to the group and, boy, do they. They confess in droves. It’s part Oprah, part funny, part self help, and fully amazing.
2. You will be trolled.
Thankfully, Periscope figured out that they needed a block feature. You’ll use it a lot. It’s just the price of doing business on the internet. I watched a pretty prominent Periscoper firing that block button like it was a video game and she was racking up points killing trolls. So, if you do start to scope, don’t let that part stress you out. It’s nothing in the scheme of things and frankly, the other viewers who actually want to see what you’re doing will drown out the negative.
3. It just may be the BEST community building platform I’ve ever seen.
Community building is really an interesting thing. I always think it works the best around a personality and less around a brand. Okay, sure, Duck Dynasty has a serious community and so does The Walking Dead, BUT so do a lot of top Youtubers and Periscope, in my opinion, just may do Youtube one better. You start to recognize (by username) the people in your Scopes who keep coming back. A live and ephemeral app (scopes can only be viewed for 24 hrs) like Periscope requires you to get creative and even invent a certain shorthand to use with your viewers, which fosters community in a completely organic way.
4. It’s LIVE and it feels LIVE.
I found myself talking a mile a minute during my scopes because people are virtually walking in and out of the room. Sometimes that might be because they don’t like the content or they don’t speak the language or they just have something else to do. Whatever the reason, you’ll feel the need to really rope in your viewers and once you do, you’ll want to keep them there. It’s a lot like STAND UP. Picture doing stand up in a bar area that everyone is walking in and out of and you pretty much have the feeling that LIVE broadcasting on Periscope creates.
5. The barrier to entry is REALLY low.
Just pick up your phone and talk. That’s really it. No editing. No big production value needed. Just straight to camera and -hopefully- a good idea. That’s all. I love this about the app. I’ve spent way too much time making one Youtube video or one blog post for that matter. Even Vine, you’re editing it in the phone or in Adobe and then uploading it to your phone it can take a lot longer than you would think. You have to figure out your beginning, middle and end, all in 6 seconds. With Periscope, it’s all so much easier and really, those are the apps that are going to survive. They are the apps that we can integrate into our daily lives with ease.
6. It may vanish, but you can still promote it.
Have you ever tried to promote a Snapchat story? It’s a total pain in the butt. Sure, you can download it, but all of the doodles don’t always come through with the download. Then what? Post it on social, sure. BUT, better yet, Periscope has a 3rd party app called Katch.me that will do this for you. All you have to do is make sure the automatic post to Twitter button is on during your scope. Then Katch.me will “katch” your scope and post the thing to twitter, which will make it viewable even after the 24 hour allowable period on Periscope. Now, THAT is something better. Broadcast your scopes. Use Katch to promote them to Twitter and send everyone to that account to see your scopes even after they’re ‘expired’ on Periscope.
There’s only one catch to Katch (haha) and that is how the comments appear upon playback. They do not appear right on top of the video, which sucks because that’s what Periscope is about. You have to hit a second tab where you can then view the comments instead of seeing them overlaid on to the scope. That aside, though, a very easy way to replay those scopes even after their expiration date.
So, let’s try that out now. Here are some of my better scopes so far. I’m still experimenting, but I like the way these turned out. If you’re into Periscope follow me here: @beckydonohue and of course, the same user name on Twitter: @beckydonohue for replays.
7 days of scoping —
What about you? Have you tried Periscope yet? If so, what do you think? Tell me about it in the comments.