Are you one of those people who hung out on MySpace long after the rest of the world had moved to Facebook?
Then you’re probably still hanging out on Twitter and Instagram – while people who are ahead of the curve have moved to the web’s premiere live video streaming app, Periscope.
The good news is that Twitter now owns Periscope. All you have to do to get on board is download the app to your Android or iOS device. Default Periscope usernames are the same as (or related to) Twitter handles, so you don’t even have to bother setting up a new account. You can just sign in with your Twitter account, approve the suggested Periscope username – and you’re ready to go. Even your profile, including your photo, will be imported directly from Twitter.
Periscope lets you watch people broadcasting live from anywhere and everywhere in the world. It also allows you to broadcast your own live streams whenever you want. And the really cool feature is that you and everyone else can comment on the video, and chat with the broadcaster and each other in real-time.
After you log on, the first thing you’ll want to do is check out other people’s live streams and there are tons to choose from (as well as replays of archived streams). One of the tabs on your screen will offer a huge selection of streams that are currently live, both full lists and by maps showing their originating location, and you can find the system’s most popular broadcasts in the “trending” section. Another tab lets you look up people who you’d like to follow on Periscope, and you’ll be notified when they go live.
If sorting through all of that information seems like a huge task, you can also use our website where users are able to share their photos and Periscope usernames. That makes it easy to find interesting people to add to your notifications list. (Of course, you can add your own information on the site as well, so people can find and add you.)
Once you’re comfortable with how the platform works and have watched some live streams, you’ll probably be ready to try broadcasting your own. That’s simple, too. There’s a tab that takes you to your “broadcast booth” – enter information about the stream you’ll be sharing, make sure your phone’s camera is showing what you want to display, and hit the “Start Broadcast” button. Poof! You’re streaming to the world!
The most obvious use for Periscope is entertainment. With so many live and archived streams to view you’ll find lots of fascinating broadcasts to check out, everything from people playing with their dog, to walking tours of foreign cities, to streams created by businesses to promote their products.
The other natural use for Periscope is to create broadcasts to entertain friends, family or the entire world. You have the option to make your streams public or private, and a private stream is perfect for sharing live video of family events like birthday parties. As long as all of the “invitees” know each others’ Periscope usernames, it’s almost like having everyone in the house to celebrate.
We’ve alluded to one other potential use of the platform for businesses: demonstrating their wares for customers or potential clients. But the more important feature of Periscope for companies is expanding their market footprint and exposure, because just by hitting one button all of their followers will receive a Twitter notification that a live broadcast is starting. Personal users can make use of the same feature to build both their Twitter and Periscope followings.
Finally, it’s a great way to meet interesting people. Checking out our site for interesting users and finding their Periscope usernames will let you connect with girls (or guys) who seem to be worth meeting – and who knows where things can go from there?