Periscope App – Live Video From Your Mobile Phone (First Impressions)

First Impressions of the Social Video Platform Called Periscope

Part 1 of 3 (In Part 2 I give tips on getting started and fitting Periscope into your online marketing strategy. In Part 3 I’ll share how your business can get started on Periscope, plus some actionable tips and marketing strategy by my fave social media experts and fellow Scopers Dustin Stout, Kimra Luna, Kim Garst, Donna Moritz, and Sue B Zimmerman. You can find me on Periscope as Bright Spark media ~ @AngeliqueDuffield, or catch my Scopes on Twitter at @AngeliqueDuff)

Sitting down at my desktop computer to write this blog post, I don’t quite know where to begin to talk about my feelings for this new real-time social video app called Periscope that’s taking the social media world by storm only months after its release.

Being in the online marketing space, I already feel like “everyone is doing it”…yet according to Social Media Examiner only 1% of people are currently using the platform. Not surprising, since it’s the techno-geeks, gamers and marketers that jump on board as early adopters of new technology.

I’m a bit conflicted though. Do we really need more creators of digital noise? Aren’t we already consumers of endless hours of cyber-junk?


Periscope video streaming app - our story

Periscope Fast Facts

Periscope is owned by Twitter. They paid $100 million to acquire Periscope which was released shortly after the other video streaming platform Meercat.

The tagline on the Periscope homepage is: Explore the world through someone else’s eyes.

The livestreaming platform reached 1 million users in it’s first 10 days. (CNN)

It grew to 2 million users in the first 3 months. (Marieclaire)

It can be mundane, funny, anecdotal, insightful and breaking news. The one common link though is that it is interactive, as viewers comment and the broadcaster replies back, making it a two-way conversation.


Cool features of the Periscope live video app

  • The whole concept of seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. {Who hasn’t been on a Skype call and turned their laptop around to show the amazing scenery or brand new home to family and friends on the video call halfway around the world.}
  • Short and sweet video with real-time interaction – kind of like if Google Hangouts on Air and Twitter had a baby, it would be Periscope.
  • Mobile phone based – because it’s meant to be used on the go, not at a desktop.
  • The map of live broadcasts. As someone said “it’s like Chat Roulette”.
  • The potential to be share more than just mundane activities – in the world of news reporting live as-it-happens, this could be huge.
  • You can choose if you want a public broadcast, or just to certain followers
  • Save your broadcast to your Camera Roll on iPhone (not sure if this is also a Smartphone/Google Play feature – but beware that only the video is recorded, not the comments and hearts.)



Periscope reminds me of how I first felt about Twitter.

My first few interactions with the Peri-platform went like this.

  • WTF???? I can’t figure this thing out. (Before you ask, no I did not read the ” instructions first!)
  • DOH I didn’t have “autosave to camera roll” enabled – how do I save my broadcast now?
  • DOH what are those hearts???? I’m trying to “unmute” the video I’m watching.
  • DOH I didn’t mean to LIKE this video – how can I un-heart something???
  • DOH I was having a peek around, left the video, and now I have to watch the whole thing from the beginning.
  • DOH I saw the notification but missed the broadcast because I totally didn’t know Periscopes are only around for 24 hrs.

and finally, when I did my first broadcast:

  • DOH I forgot the hashtag.
  • DOH how do I interact with anyone?
  • DOH how do I stop the broadcast? (Pull down the screen/swipe down… in case you are wondering)
  • Eek, i can hear myself breathing when I’m talking (Note to self: Darth Vader sound is NOT very attractive on me.) Thank God it’s only around for 24 hrs!


My first broadcast – Photo Pros Live Chat screenshots

I thought that my Photography Pros Live Chat Hangout on Air would be a great opportunity to test out Periscope with a little peak behind the scenes. Especially since the two platforms appear to be very similar in providing livestreamed video online.

Since I didn’t have the autosave turned on, I at least remembered to check out the replay within 24 hours (remember the scopes are not permanent – they are only online for a day) and grabbed these screenshots.


Screenshot of my first Periscope broadcast behind the scenes of Photo Pros Live Chat hangout on air show - side by side

2 screenshots from the replay of my first Periscope livestream. Left: title screen with map of broadcast location. Right: interactive comments show on the livestreamed broadcast or replay but not currently on the downloaded video.


Quirkiness, exploration, and poopbags in the Periscope World

Not surprisingly, as people explore the Periscope, there’s a lot of nothing being said and shown as people test out the new app and familiarize themeselves with the features and the possibilities. (But like watching Big Brother, it’s addictive.)

Everyone is videoing their computer screen. (Really???)

When watching a replay, it’s like the Scoper has ADD – it feels chaotic when people broadcasting a message keep interrupting their stream of thought to say hi and acknowledge those joining in, giving hearts or leaving comments.

Emojis, characters and hashtags, oh my.

There is no limit to what is being shared – everything from celebrities getting ready for a night out, to sightseeing in different cities around the world, to breaking news, to copyright-infringement streaming of events and tv shows, and I’ve heard that there’s pornography on Periscope too.

The shoutouts make broadcasts feel choppy and interrupted, and it’s like there’s a race to see who can be the first person chiming in. Bonus points if they can elicit a verbal acknowledgement from their favourite influencer. I suppose that is the enticement to watch live – the ability to interact real-time is a huge selling point of the platform.

Video is already a hot marketing tool (and the popularity is still increasing each year). Periscope fits nicely into that category, carving out its own niche. I can see a lot of potential for businesses to use Periscope as a marketing tool. (I’ll be writing more about that in an upcoming blog post.)

Google Hangouts on Air was ground-breaking when it levelled the playing field and gave the masses the ability to broadcast without a big production crew and with a shoestring budget. Periscope is similarly innovative in the ability to bring a quick and easy livestreaming platform…the ease of Skpe with the broadcast reach of Hangouts on Air.

There’s the fact that Periscope feeds that quick consumption quality that permeates life nowadays. Watch it NOW because it will be gone in 24 hours. (And who wouldn’t want to miss “let’s take a nature break with a beagle #poopbag” and “the kangaroos are down by the water”, or yet another “I’m stuck in traffic” broadcast.) My point? Do we really need more noise? Is the banal daily activity being broadcast really of interest to anyone? (And if so, why? Shouldn’t we be finding ways to spend LESS time online and more time actually interacting with other human beings?)

Hmm, does Periscope mean more selfies but now in video format?


Have the marketers already ruined Periscope?

The online marketing strategists and social media communities are already jumping on board and discovering innovative ways to use the new livestreaming  mobile app for business.

Yes, it’s about community building, fostering relationships, connecting to their audience by pulling back the curtain and showing things behind the scenes.

But I can’t shake that niggling feeling that already the marketers have ruined it as Gary Vaynerchuk says.



What other social networks have marketers gotten their hands on and changed the platform into a potential marketing machine? Here are just a few examples:

  • Facebook’s earlier platform encouraged  people to share photos and comments with family and friends then developed into a vehicle for businesses and marketers to persuade you to know, like and trust them;
  • Pinterest was a virtual pinboard of stuff you liked, much like the old-fashioned cork-board on your bedroom wall. Now it’s a driver of tons of traffic to websites and generating brand loyalty with customers who, according to statistics, are much more likely to make repeat purchases.
  • Remember email? That little ping we all remember from the movie When Harry Met Sally saying “You’ve got mail” used to excite us. Now we feel inundated and overwhelmed with the volume of (often pointless and spammy) emails. It all just feels like an icky de-volution rather than an evolution.




After only a few interactions, I’m sure this list is only the tip of the iceberg. And maybe some of these features are available, and I’ve just not explored enough or read up on those elements. But here are a few things that I think would be useful.

  • Add a “quick tour” when app is first installed.
  • Would love to acknowledge people (besides giving live shoutouts live) in some way after the broadcast, to develop relationships. Maybe even be able to reply or heart someone’s message to acknowledge it live (similar to “liking” a comment on a Facebook post).
  • Sharing broadcasts (*** Update: I learned that you can share invitation on Twitter) and replays would be great – including the ability to download it after it’s been recorded (like when I forgot to click autosave on my own broadcast).
  • Include the ability to fast forward or jump to a specific time in the recording, and keep the commentary in recordings (not just the video feed).
  • In the “recent” list of replays I’d like to see how long the scope is (like on YouTube videos). If it’s only 2 min, I can fit it in.
  • Ability to watch replays on web not just phone (*** UPDATE: as of June 23rd, web replays are available…but I can’t see a search or how I can track down that replay unless I shared the link to Twitter…Anyone got the answer? I found this Periscope web search link, but not sure it’s official from Periscope.)
  • A way to share Periscope handles easily – I’d love to add some links for people to look out for on Periscope.
  • Clickable link in bio would be great – I suppose this is another business wishlist item
  • A way to filter scope notifications – I might follow some people, but I don’t want to watch all their scopes (think of those people doing 3-10 a day!), and I don’t need to see everyone’s recommendations for me.


Closing thoughts on Periscope

I wonder what the creators think about how the app use is evolving so rapidly. Is this really what co-founders Kayvon and Joe envisioned we’d be sharing?  I wouldn’t think so because the sentiment in the tagline was quite magical, as is their promo clip on the homepage to demo the app.

Just over a year ago, we became fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video.


Periscope screenshots from their blog on Medium - explore the world through someone else's eyes is their tagline

Click the image to learn more about Periscope on their blog. (Image source:


I suspect they saw a more personal use of their app, but marketers saw the business and promotional potential, and Twitter saw the value in buying out the competition – they snapped up Periscope for cool $100 million not long after Meercat, the other competitor in the field showed up as the new kid on the block in March. Not a bad flip for a year-long project!



Your turn: Thoughts on Periscope?

Did you know about Periscope before reading this?

If so, have you used it yet? Just as a “consumer” or have you broadcast your own video?

What would be on your wishlist for Periscope’s new live video app?


Name 3 … Do you know some awesome Scopers? Click the photo below or tell me your 3 must-follow Periscope peeps in the comments below!






 >>>> Read Part 2 of this blog series: Getting Started with Periscope and How to Fit Periscope Into Your Online Marketing Strategy



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