What you need to know about ‘Periscope’

It’s possible that over the past few months you may have heard of an app called Meerkat. It’s a free, video live-streaming service – users can stream whatever is going on in front of them, whether it be them making toast or doing a bungee jump. Seemingly, Periscope is the exact same thing.

Meerkat was launched in February 2015 and found popularity when featured on the website Product Hunt. It is believed that Twitter picked up on this and opted for buying into the live-streaming market. Periscope’s startup was purchased by Twitter for a reported £100 million and relaunched in the App Store under Twitter’s account.

There has been substantial attention for both apps, whether it be positive reviews or controversy – despite a few unique features and different design work, the apps are practically indistinguishable. However, Periscope is taking off, fast.

What are live-streaming apps?

More-so than anything, they are a virtual window into someone else’s world. User’s can broadcast anything that is going on around them (as long as it doesn’t break the code of conduct, of course) and people can watch it.

Naturally, there will be many trivial uses for the app, which is completely fine. However, I’m imagining the possibilities of journalists reporting of groundbreaking events, showing immediate live footage, Musicians could stream their concerts, it could create a whole new brand of entertainer – who knows.

Will Periscope be widely used?

It’s hard to say. I mean, whilst Periscope has to owe it to Meerkat for popularising video live-streaming on mobile, one of their unique functions leads me to believe it is going to continue being the favourite – Replay. Users can replay any live stream, any time for 24 hours after the stream, as well as being able to save the video.

I think it’s worth touching on Snapchat’s ‘Discover’ feature – it allows brands/companies/events to have specific broadcasts that anyone can watch. Whilst it’s clear that the entire premise of Periscope it’s different to this, there are similarities that can be drawn that suggest it could be a success. One of those is data; take a look at this graph.

With the exponential increase of Data plans coupled with the improvement of internet speeds it’s clear that consumers will be far less opposed to actually using their data. This is an issue that would have made Periscope a failure 5 years ago.

Most importantly, though, Periscope is already getting popular. Two million active daily users is nothing to turn your nose up at, neither is 10 million registered users. Growth like that does not go unnoticed – watch this space.

What does this mean for marketers?

There are a few important aspects that I would like to touch on; Firstly, it integrates with Twitter. This is important, if you already have a following you should have no problem getting viewers, simple.

Secondly, it’s free. Similar to Vine and Instagram, as long you have a compatible phone and something worthwhile to shoot, you are ready to go – what’s the worst that could happen?

If you’re not too worried about the quality of your live-stream then it’s certainly worth trying. As it’s being filmed on a mobile phone, it will be prone to shakes and glitches, especially depending on the strength of your WiFi/4G connection, so quality control can be an issue.

Conclusively, it’s early days – however if we look at previous trends of similar apps we can expect Periscope to carry on growing, whether it will become of mainstay of our digital age, I couldn’t tell you. Although, we do know that it creates a variety of prospects and opportunities. So, if you have a an audience ready to view your content there is no reason you shouldn’t experiment with Periscope. Don’t be too late to the party, you can’t say we didn’t warn you.

If you feel you need a helping hand with your digital marketing make sure you get in touch. Sharp Monkeys is a digital marketing agency based in Worcester.