What is Periscope?
Periscope is an instant live streaming app that lets the user broadcast sound and video to the world. Viewers can type in questions / comments that the broadcaster can then verbally respond to. From www.periscope.tv/about:
“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. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.”
After the broadcast has ended viewers can still watch the video for 24 hours. After that it is removed however the broadcaster can upload from their mobile device the video to their choice of video hosting platform (youtube).
How can I use it?
Currently the only way to broadcast Periscope is via Apple iOS devices. An Android app is under development and coming soon. The site http://onperiscope.com/ offers a web based viewing experience, however you cannot interact with the broadcaster. As the product matures I would surmise an interactive web based experience will follow.
Why should I use it?
A variety of reasons encompass the potential uses of Periscope. Viewers can follow the people, brands, companies, and products that they are interested in and have the opportunities to interact with the aforementioned. Users can also check and see “what’s popular” to view and suddenly be whisked half way around the world to watch events unfold in real time.
Users or course can also be broadcasters, showing the world baby’s first steps, your wife snoring, or a tornado touching down.
For businesses the marketing potential is big. Want to broadcast an AMA (Ask Me Anything) about your job, your business, your service? What about breaking news announcements about your company?
Last week Periscope notified me that a person I was following, Felicia Day, had just begun a broadcast. As I continued to work I brought up the broadcast announcing her new book and I was able to interact with her during the stream. It was a win-win. She was able to announce and advertise her book, and I felt as if “I was there” with the ability to interact with the actress during the broadcast.