Let me just start by pointing out that the social media industry shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Many older adults (and even some of my own peers) find social media to be invasive of privacy, an unhealthy narcissistic practice, or simply a tiresome burden. I for one have always been intrigued by social media ever since Myspace.com permeated my teenage life. And the fact of the matter is todays teens can hardly fathom a world where social media isn’t a normal part of daily life. Admittedly, my own social media use has historically been driven by entertainment, but I now have a fresh perspective reinvigorated by the branding applications that are being demonstrated by major companies on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. (But that’s another blog post!) My point is that social media is now a driving force in our modern culture and to be resistant or reluctant or anything but open-minded and curious about new social media technology is only going to hurt you in the long run as you fall behind the learning curve. And I made that point here only to make this point: Periscope is here… and it’s awesome!
What’s so great about Periscope anyway?
Purchased by Twitter for a cool $100 million in February 2015, technology start-up Periscope is a fresh new platform for streaming live video from your cell phone from virtually anywhere in the world. It keeps a running count of how many people are watching, tracks comments, and viewers can tap the screen to ‘heart’ a video stream and show their support. You can collect ‘followers’ like on Twitter and Instagram, and the number of ‘hearts’ you’ve gathered accumulate under your username in a subtle way not unlike Snapchat. What is really exciting about broadcasting live is the ability to interact with your viewers in real-time, a feature that can inspire endless practical applications for this as a business tool. Think about the possibilities: public companies hosting a live Q&A with shareholders, live-streaming support broadcasts addressing a common concern or complaint, product demonstrations in real-time, customizable live tours, or hosting focus groups for a fraction of the cost of doing it in person. And the value of such applications will only multiply as technology improves and usage grows!
Pretty cool I guess, but what if I don’t care about the business applications of social media?
Periscope does have a lot of practical applications for business owners, but I know as well as anyone that the vast majority of us use social media strictly for funsies. Well Periscope doesn’t disappoint on this front either! The live-streaming app claims to let you ‘explore the world through someone else’s eyes’ and it definitely delivers. You can pull up a map of the world and choose to view a live broadcast based on location or search using the list view to see all streams ranked by viewership. (Maybe a hashtag search feature in the future? A girl can dream.) You can pop in to watch a person on the other side of the world chatting away in a foreign tongue, or take in a resplendent view that you may otherwise not have the means to see yourself. If you’re really lucky, you can even tune in and interact with your favorite celebrities and public figures in real time, like NastyGal’s Sophia Amoruso, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, and the governator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger! There is something very alluring about being able to watch someone on the other side of the world in real-time, a sort of consensual voyeurism as it’s been called, and to have access to the famous and powerful is a priceless privilege that no generation has enjoyed before.
With Periscope, the most innovative users will capture the largest audience and drive the culture of this budding platform. I’ll be broadcasting the good life regularly so follow here to get the notifications for when I go live. I’ll also be watching and learning from a select group of idols and influencers, how will you make Periscope work for you?