When I first heard about Periscope, I was curious. What would it be like? What sort of broadcasts would come out of it? What new innovative ways would people find for it? The truth is I've found it addictive. I downloaded and sent out my very first broadcast on May 13. The short video was of my balcony and all my plants just as a trial to check out the features. No one watched, but it didn't really matter at the time.
Periscope is the new live video broadcasting app from Twitter. It was originally designed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein as a start-up company, but Twitter saw the potential and jumped on it. Periscope is meant to let people share experiences as they happen by braodcasting a live stream, and the audience can comment using the apps chat feature or give the broadcaster love by tapping the screen to make hearts appear.
Since that first video I've watched several broadcasts from people all over the world. I've seen news casters place their iPhone on their desk to record in between takes. I've watch a man in Canada walk his dog. I've seen people walking beaches at night, chumming for sharks. I've also seen a lot of cats, but this is the internet so what do you expect?
I've been really enjoying the ability to see things going on in the world that I would have never had the chance to before. While Youtube is still a great place for sharing videos, Periscope offers a 1 to 1 real-time connection. Some of the most interesting Periscopes I've seen have been interviews where a celebrity or whatnot will answer questions from the chat bubbles. Of course the trolls have already sized their opportunities to be jerks, but Twitter now offers a feature that lets you block users. All you have to do is tap on a comment and seleck Block. Another thing that was disturbing was thatPeriscopeoriginally let users zoom in on your location, giving stalkers a whole new way to amuse themselves. Thankfully Twitter eliminated the ability to zoom so now people just get a general sense of where you are.
There are a bunch of other functions such as the ability to make your broadcast private so that only viewers you choose will be invited to watch. You can also save your live broadcast to watch later. The app automatically saves videos for 24 hours, but you can also opt to save them to your camera roll. Twitter has also made it super easy to notify everyone via tweets about when you go live with a broadcast - all you have to do is tap the bird icon before starting and Periscope will auto tweet for you.
I'll be excited to see broadcasters start their own recurring programs. Periscope is ripe with the opportunity for shows and short on-the-spot films. For the moment the app is still in its infancy as more users begin to explore it, but I expect that its popularity will grow expotentially in the coming months.
You can download Periscope for free on the App Store and join in the fun.