Periscope: What is it and why it would benefit your business or brand

Oct 13 2015

by Cyle Augusta Lewis

Periscope 4







By now you’ve probably heard of it, but still aren’t exactly sure what it is. Be honest, how many of you rolled your eyes at the mention of yet another social media platform? Before the overwhelms sets in, let’s talk about this fast growing platform and how it could benefit you.

What is Periscope?

Periscope is a live-streaming video app that allows you to watch events globally as they unfold. By tuning in to those you “follow”, or viewing a map to see what and where is being broadcast in other parts of the world, you can catch unedited streams of content in the making. The creators of the program, Joe Bernstein, and Kayyon Beykpour, explain that they came up with this idea while traveling abroad in 2013. Noticing that there was no existing way to live-stream from an app, the two set out to fund their project, establishing beta-test in 2014. Periscope was acquired in January 2015 by Twitter, an officially came on the scene two months later, available for iOS March 26th and Android May 26th. By August, just four months after launch the new app has passed 10 million accounts.

An excerpt from the Periscope website: “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.”

Who should you use it?

How can it benefit your business?
The scarcity & spontaneity factor: there is a certain excitement that comes into play with Periscope because your window to view it is limited, and your opportunity to interact with the content is in that moment, as it is happening. If you’re notified of something on Periscope, you need to watch it NOW. Responding and interacting with text is only available in the moment, and replay is only available for a limited time afterward, making it the perfect online forum for sneak peaks, and creating a buzz for something upcoming in your business or organization.

Building community and encouraging engagement: Businesses and brands can use this platform to involve their community in unique aspects of what they’re doing. For instance, if you’re a style blogger and your followers always see the pristine and polished posts, you could plan a periscope broadcast right before or while photographing a styled shoot, letting your tribe in on the raw activity behind the scenes. If you’re videoing a series for on online course, you could do a sneak peak scope allowing the viewers can see what types of content will be presented.

Building the Like, Know & Trust factor: Periscope can provide another angle to who you are and what your brand is all about. By making it possible to bring fans into another facet of your company, it can compound your overall purpose and value. Get creative! Browse through accounts and broadcasts and see what sparks your attention. When interesting things are happening and a broadcast is possible think about how to involve your community in things they normally wouldn’t see in your business.

How does it work? How to get started with the app

1.Download the Periscope app for your device. Once you’ve downloaded Periscope from the App Store you can find followers and be found easily if you connect through twitter. There is the option to join via mobile number as well.
2. The TV ICON shows recent or current broadcasts for people you follow.
3. The GLOBE ICON  shows all people who have their geographic locations turned on in various regions.
4. The BROADCAST ICON is used to create your live broadcast. You must have the camera and mic activated to broadcast.


• If you turn off notifications, you won’t know when anyone is posting which takes all of the fun out of catching broadcasts live. If an account is posting to often or content that’s not applicable to your area you can simply unfollow.
• Once on a live broadcasts, you can tap the screen which produces hearts that let the presenter know you agree or like their content. There is also a type-bar to say hello or write a message. Be forewarned that anyone can chime in, so negative or even inappropriate, off topic comments can pop up, however it is possible to block someone while the feed is live.
• When starting a broadcast it can be helpful to post on other platforms so your followers are aware you are live.
• Save your topic introduction till at least a minute into broadcast, giving people time to connect. Start with some light comments and then once you see a number of people are on you can begin with your content.
• Periscope only supports the portrait (vertical) position.
• You can save broadcasts to your camera role to share later. The option to edit and present on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or on your blog could present the ability to use for monetizatoin later, compounding the reach of a particular broadcast.
• Broadcasts are not time restricted – they can be as long or as short.  There isn’t a fast forward or rewind function when rewatching.
• You can invite people on a live broadcast by sharing via the app, twitter or any other social platform with the link.

If the live aspect is unnerving because its live you can take an iPhone video to prep and plan and get an idea of what your viewers will see before talking it live.

Make sure to have a clear idea about what you want to accomplish and how you’ll use live broadcasts to enrich your brand and enhance your value online. There are endless options for how to use, be creative have fun and always remember – there is a delete option for broadcasts that don’t seem to fit your purpose. Now, get busy periscoping!

Photo by: Tamara Gibson


Cyle Augusta Lewis View More Blog Posts from this Author

Christ follower • boy mom • wife • writer • entrepreneur

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One response on “Periscope: What is it and why it would benefit your business or brand

  1. Elizabeth Ours

    Finally got around to signing up for Periscope and to reading your excellent article. Now to put some thought into this new platform and how I might be able to use it! Then, all that’s left is getting up the courage to try it out! 🙂

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