The social media industry moves at lightning speed and new apps are appearing all the time. Nucleus digital marketing manager, Alan Connor shares his thoughts on one of the newest social apps to hit the market and why he thinks it’ll make a big impact.
Yesterday I experienced a beautiful stroll through the streets of Rome in the early morning sunshine whilst chatting to one of the locals.
Ten minutes prior to that, I was at a party in Las Vegas watching a rap battle unfold on stage at the MGM Grand. A fellow onlooker and I had a debate about who the winner would be (I know nothing about rap by the way.)
Fast forward a few hours later and I was being toured around the BuzzFeed New York head office by two employees. I was chatting to them about their company culture and learning more about their roles.
This was all possible due to Periscope, a new mobile app acquired by Twitter in January for $100 million that launched two weeks ago.
I really think this app is going to make big waves (excuse the pun).
So what is Periscope and what does it do?
Periscope is a new breed of social app. Basically, it streams live video and audio from a person’s mobile device which others can watch and comment on from within the app. Once a live broadcast is finished, it is available for a limited period of time for those who missed out.
Broadcasters connect to their audience through their existing Twitter network. Streams are shared on Twitter to spread the word and increase the audience reach. Users of the app receive a notification as soon as someone they follow starts broadcasting. Streams can also be made private allowing only invited people or followers to watch and participate in a broadcast.
So why do I think this is such a great thing?
To be clear, I’m excited about the concept of streaming live video from mobile devices in a social context. The Periscope app itself needs work and is still a bit rough round the edges, but it’ll develop and it’s no reason to hold back.
The capability for anyone who owns a mobile device to broadcast instant, live video has a staggering potential. We could find that the world is about to get a whole lot smaller. Sports events, shows, news, wars will soon be viewed from multiple perspectives in real-time and in a social context.
Live video brings a raw, unpolished, behind the scenes view to the world where the unexpected can and will happen. It’s this immediacy that’s the appeal. Experiences happen in real time with the broadcaster. It’s not something that’s shared later, after the event.
If social media has taught us anything it's to be genuine and transparent, what better way to do this than with live video.
Arguably, Twitter is also real-time. The key difference however is that Twitter “tells” and does not “show”. With Twitter your view is shaped on what other people tweet. With Periscope you see through someone else’s eyes but draw your own experience. You can also affect what you see and experience through chat.
Who’s using Periscope?
Periscope is only a couple of weeks old and already celebrities are jumping on the app, realising the potential of this new channel. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Norton, Ringo Starr, Roger Federer, Jamie Oliver are some of the names already on there.
"If social media has taught us anything it's to be genuine and transparent, what better way to do this than with live video."
Businesses leaders, brands and the media are also getting in on the action. Garry Vaynerchuk, the internet entrepreneur is already up and running (of course he is) as well as AOL CEO, Tim Armstrong. Spotify, Red Bull, Mashable, BBC, BuzzFeed and The Guardian are brands that are regularly delivering live streams.
But let’s not forget, this is the internet. It goes without saying that there are plenty of people out there, lying on the couch, randomly streaming their feet or their cat which offers little or no interest. The more Periscope develops the app and allows you to filter what you see, the better.
It would be remiss of me not to give credit to Meerkat, the app that really started this whole revolution. Meerkat launched in February 2015 to a big fanfare. It too has been jumped on by celebrities such as Madonna, Tony Hawk and Rio Ferdinand.
Twitter’s purchase of Periscope was obviously a reaction to Meerkat’s success. The speed with which Periscope was released from beta is a clear indication that they were trying to prevent Meerkat gaining too strong a foothold on the market.
Twitter delivered a sucker punch recently by blocking Meerkat’s access to the Twitter social graph. This prevents Meerkat users connecting with users through their existing Twitter network
The future will certainly see a battle of the apps unfold. It may be a quick fight with a knockout punch or a long drawn out affair. Regardless of who is victorious, it looks like streaming live video from mobile devices is here to stay
Periscope and Nucleus
At Nucleus we like to think we are a social bunch and like to try new things. So we’re set up on Periscope already and would like to invite you to join Periscope and follow us (we’ll follow you back). If you’re already on Twitter then it’s really easy.We’ll deliver our first live stream today (9th April) around 1pm BST. It’ll hopefully be fun and light hearted and an opportunity to experience the app with us – we hope you can come and scope it out.