Have you heard of Periscope? It’s a live video streaming app for iOS and Android devices, developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein. Basically, it gives users the ability to broadcast to the world, and interact with theirs viewers while broadcasting. The Periscope brainchild was born in 2013 during Beykpour’s travels in Turkey. It was developed in 2014, and acquired by Twitter in January 2015, two months before its official debut. Apple just named Periscope its App of the Year for 2015. Pretty impressive timeline!
How does it work? Broadcasters download the Periscope app to their mobile device, establish an account and voila – start broadcasting. Anyone can view public broadcasts, but you must have a Periscope account to interact with videos. Broadcasts can be viewed and commented on in Periscope for 24 hours, after which they are removed from the app. (Account holders can save their broadcasts to mobile devices, or via a cloud storage service like katch.) While watching a broadcast, viewers can comment or send hearts (indicating they like the broadcast) by tapping the screen. Lots of hearts mean you are broadcasting content that people find valuable.
Who is using it? Lots of people! Periscope made a happy announcement when they surpassed the 10 million user mark in August, and a large number of those users are in the highly coveted 18-34 year age bracket. It integrates with Twitter, so you can share links to your broadcasts with your followers there.
How can brands use it? Among those millions of users are many organizations, both large and small, that want to enhance their brand experience with their audiences. What is so compelling about Periscope is the ability to communicate with followers in real time. We’ve seen brands live stream events, offer inside looks at their daily operations, and share information (sort of like a blog or podcast, but people can post comments or questions and see responses in real time.) A journalist broadcast during the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore, and even T-Mobile CEO John Legere uses Periscope to interact with customers. I found a singer/songwriter who broadcasts covers to her followers, and the performances that get the most hearts are added to her live set list when she performs on stage once a week. (The same person also broadcast her Christmas gift-wrapping session. Periscope has its share of minutia, for sure.)
Which brands are doing a good job with it? Royal Caribbean had a spectacular social media campaign where it live streamed adventure footage from its tropical cruising locations, and fed the (edited) broadcasts to billboards in New York City. Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil) of Teaspoon of Spice films cooking scopes to share ideas and kitchen tips, and demonstrate recipes. Her daughter frequently helps her, and Deanna jokes that those broadcasts are the ones that get the most hearts!
Is Periscope right for my brand? It very well could be! As you can see, there are many creative ways to use Periscope to connect to your audience. As we have mentioned before, your demographic will help determine if Periscope is a worthwhile social media platform for your brand. If you are targeting that 18-34 age range, you have something to share that is valuable to your audience, and you have the time and staff to be consistent, Periscope is worth a closer look. If your company decides it’s a good fit, establish a solid plan, and start broadcasting!
Is your brand on Periscope? How has your experience been? Share your thoughts in the comments!