Whether that’s from the viewpoint of a protester in Ukraine, or watching a sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia. Can it beat its closest rival Meerkat? In just a few weeks both have seen celebrity uptake. But what can it do for businesses like yours?
Make the news, be the news. The Periscope app has only been up and running for a fortnight or so and has already been bought by Twitter for a reported $100m. It’s attracting a younger audience to the news and content sharing. For instance, Sky’s Kay Burley used it to give a ‘behind-the-scenes’ account of the recent UK Leader TV Debates.
At the moment, Periscope only supported on iOs, not Android, despite Android having the larger customer base. Periscope’s videos last for 24 hours, whereas its rival Meerkat’s live video disappears once you end the broadcast. Meaning you can browse live broadcasts as well as those from the last day. You can message the owner of videos and add a ‘heart’ if you like what you see.
It’s the immediacy of broadcasting which appeals to people. Why rely on (possibly-biased) news reporting at certain times during the day? We have seen from the popularity of rolling news, that viewers are hungry for instant information. This app allows people to upload their version of the news, when and where they are.
Periscope’s main competitor is Meerkat. Twitter has been pushing celebrities and marketers to move over to Periscope, trying to convince them that Meerkat is on the way out. It has been reported that Twitter is telling people that unless they use Periscope exclusively, it could cut off their access to Amplify (Twitter’s answer to commercial TV – promoting tweets based around video clips). Twitter is going all out to put itself forward as the broadcasting platform of choice. It’s worth noting that Meerkat was built upon Twitter’s social graph, communications and distribution systems. Now, however, Twitter has cut off their access to the social graph.
Celebrities using these broadcasting apps already include living legend Madonna (Meerkat), Ashton Kutcher (Meerkat), skateboarder Tony Hawk (Meerkat), footballer Rio Ferdinand (Meerkat), actor Ed Norton (Periscope), chef Jamie Oliver (Periscope), Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame (Periscope) and actor/hero/governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor/rock star Jared Leto (these two are using both Periscope and Meerkat – obviously hedging their bets!).
Periscope and Meerkat have both been used commercially, with some success, already. They’ve seen product launches, live streaming of events, interviews and coverage by eager citizens of a building collapse and fire blaze in New York city recently. These platforms are great for building conversations and driving traffic. It does however, have a downside. It’s not easy to prevent copyright infringements (like YouTube does already). It could potentially undermine revenue streams for companies that rely heavily on content. And of course, it can be used to illegally stream concerts, sporting events and other pay-per-view content.
Brand messaging could also suffer. With such an instant content creation, your company’s reputation could instantly take a hit. It’s a risk with any form of social media, of course, but being such a new and unknown quantity, it’s best to weigh up the pros and cons carefully. Without the content filters or watermarking technology of better-established platforms like FaceBook or YouTube, quality may lessen.
It’s too early to call a potential winner in this race. Periscope quickly broke into the top 10 social networking apps on the App Store and became a trending topic on Twitter, but Meerkat hit back with more discovery features. They’re neck and neck at the moment with early adopters from the celebrity world, but it remains to be seen if Meerkat can withstand the might of Twitter. In terms of business use, you might be better off with Google Hangouts on Air for broadcasting. It’s just more professional right now.
If you have any questions or feedback then please get in touch with our social media team and if you want to follow us on Periscope just search for @webheads – see you live sometime soon!