On March 26, Medium launched a little app called Periscope that would allow people to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Periscope is a live streaming app that allows you to share and watch live broadcasts on your phone or tablet. Instead of a video clip posted after the fact, Periscope allows views to go along with broadcasters in real time with live video. Once the lovely folks at Twitter got a hold of it, the app exploded and just about everyone is scoping.
If you want to get in on the fun, but aren’t quite sure where to start, here are some tips on how to get started on Periscope.
1. Download the app. As of May 26, the app is now available for iOS and Android devices. So head over to either the App Store or Google Play and download the app for free. There are already imitation apps with similar names, so make sure you download Periscope, owned by Twitter, and that it is free.
2. Create an account. If you have a Twitter account, you can simply create an account with your Twitter account information. All of your profile information from Twitter will automatically transfer over, but you do have the option to edit this later if you want.
If you don’t have Twitter, that’s okay. The app now has an option for you to just sign up with your phone number.
3. Start following people. If you sign up with your Twitter account, those folks you follow on Twitter will automatically be listed as people to follow on Periscope. This is a great place to start because hopefully you already like the content they provide. You can also check out who your favorite people are following, and see if there are more people you are interested in checking out. There is also a map feature that shows you where people are broadcasting from in the world, and you can use that to find broadcasts.
4. Check your data plan. Notice this tip comes before actually watching a broadcast. Why? Because as you can imagine, if you think watching YouTube videos can eat up your data, wait until you watch live videos. Unless you have unlimited data, I suggest only watching broadcasts when you have access to wifi. I have an iPhone, and I was able to go to the cellular settings on my phone and turn off the ability for the Periscope app to run using cellular data. Just to be on the safe side and help me resist the urge.
5. Watch your first broadcast aka Scope. When you open the Periscope app, you can see what broadcast are live, and which ones recently ended. On Periscope, viewers influence the broadcaster by sending messages, and expressing their love by tapping the screen to send hearts. When you join a broadcast, you are assigned a color, which will match the color of the hearts when you send them. You can also share the broadcast with others so they can watch it as well (slide to the right for Apple users and slide up for Android users). A replay of live broadcasts are available for 24 hours after they end.
6. Engage with other viewers. The chat feature of Periscope is a great place to engage with other people who are viewing the same scope that you are. If you like what another viewer has to say, you can just tap their comment, and see their profile to follow them. You can also reply directly to someone’s comment during a broadcast. Tap the comment, hit the reply button, and you’ll automatically be presented with a response including that person’s @handle. Replies that mention you will appear with an arrow.
7. Start a broadcast. You have your account, you’ve watched a few broadcasts, and you’ve engaged with other viewers. Now it’s time to dive into your very first broadcast. This is your chance to show the world through your eyes. Or you can turn the camera on yourself and talk to the world. Before you start your broadcast, you’ll see a screen just like the one in the screenshot below. This allows you to give a title to your broadcast so people know what you’re about to show them or talk about. You also can turn or, or off, the precise location feature – which I recommend if you don’t want people to know the exact location where you are when you broadcast.
Also, whatever is being picked up by your camera when you hit ‘start broadcast’ will be your thumbnail during the replay, as you can see in the screenshot below. Once you start your broadcast, you will be able to flip the camera around selfie style. So be mindful of that. While you are broadcasting, you do not have the ability to type in the comments. Depending on what you will be scoping about, you may want to partner up with a viewer to type out certain things for you.
TIP: People can get spamming and nasty. So you may want to block them. Tap their comment and select the block user button, if some gets disrespectful or spammy.
Periscope is pretty much everything right now. In the 3 months since the app was launched, over 3 million broadcasts have been viewed. Many brands and brand owners are even using Periscope to share information, market products and services, and build their tribe in real time. Black Biz Scope Friday is a community-based initiative led by Moms N Charge, Koils by Nature and Trendy Socialite. Every Friday from 10-11 AM EST and 6-7 PM EST, black owned businesses (product and service based) will have an opportunity to do a 5-10 minute scope about their business. During that time, everyone is asked to tune in to that business’ scope – promoting, showing love and sharing.
Here’s 10 additional tips to live by:
- Invest in a tripod for your phone. Here’s my favorite from Amazon.
- Make sure your smartphone is fully charged and you have good WiFi or a 4G connection.
- Appropriately title your broadcast and be sure to use hashtags.
- Have a call to action in the title so people know what to do or ask when they open the broadcast.
- Share it socially with your followers and friends. During your broadcast ask people watching to also share your broadcast.
- Hold your smartphone vertically — changing to landscape doesn’t recalibrate the broadcast and you end up with a weird viewing angle.
- Use the top 3rd of the screen—commentary will block the view of what’s going on if it’s switched on.
- Flip the camera prior to starting your broadcast, if you are interviewing yourself or talking to the audience have the camera facing you.
- Ask questions of the audience—everyone loves to give their opinion! Do you best to answer questions in real-time to avoid frustration. Encourage positive feedback by asking your audience to double tap to agree if typing isn’t conducive
- Remember Periscope is a mobile-first application and that your broadcast will be global. With that in mind, you may get unusual questions—luckily you can pause commentary and block offensive users—those pesky trolls are everywhere!
Whether you want to use this app for business or for personal, Periscope is definitely the next big thing and you should get into it. Be careful, though, it can be addicting. Be sure to follow me on Periscope @NaturallyGlamTV and Ty @GorgeousinGrey because we are cute and funny.