Live streaming video is taking over social media marketing in a big way. Apps such as Periscope offer viewers a real-world experience through the eyes of the videographer. Simply by pressing a button, video broadcasters can notify followers that they are live and carry viewers through a real-time adventure.
Millions of viewers have watched live video of protests in the Ukraine, gone on a hot air balloon ride through the mountains of Turkey, toured Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s operating room and witnessed their grandchildren’s first steps from hundreds of miles away. The creators of Periscope believe, “there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video.”
The biggest draw to live streaming apps such as Periscope is the experience – the feeling the viewer gets from watching through the eye of the camera and being a part of the event. Through the app, people who are watching a live stream can comment and communicate with the videographer in real time. Periscope takes viewers from their living room couches to destinations around the world.
Periscope came to fruition in the summer of 2013. Co-founder Kayvon Beykpour came up with the idea when his trip to Istanbul was interrupted by violent protests. As Beykpour prepared for his travels, he researched the area that he would be residing in, but could not find any video to determine if it was safe for him to go.
After returning from his excursion, Beykpour and co-founder Joe Bernstein began to develop Periscope.
When users open the Periscope app, they will see a grid of live video broadcasts happening globally. The app also includes a timeline of past broadcasts, available for 24 hours from the time they were taken. As they watch live streams, viewers can not only comment, but “heart,” as well. “Hearts” are the equivalent to cheering the video broadcaster on as he or she performs.
Periscope was acquired by Twitter earlier this year for $100 million. With the partnership, Twitter can now suggest users for you to follow and automatically tweet whenever you start a new stream. When someone that you follow begins a new stream, you will receive a notification through the app. You can also invite some or all of your Twitter followers to watch your broadcast.
The Periscope app is still continuing to develop new functionalities as viewers continue to hop on the live streaming video bandwagon. Beykpour says his goal is for Periscope to be a separate entity under Twitter, and begin to build its own social media community.