Twitter is diving into live interactive broadcast video with its March 2015 acquisition of Periscope and its mobile app by the same name. Periscope app allows you to broadcast privately to family or friends or publicly to the world. As an iPhone broadcaster you are sharing video, audio and location if desired.
You can share what you are seeing with your followers or with anyone from around the world who wants to see what you are seeing right now. The broadcaster and viewers can see others join in. Add hearts to the broadcast by tapping the mobile screen, and comments in real time. The interactivity generates an authentic experience.
Going live instantly notifies your Periscope followers who can watch, comment and send hearts in real time. The more hearts you get, the higher they flutter on the screen. The more hearts you receive, the higher you get in the “Most Loved” list.
Broadcast topics are wide-ranging. Topics include everything from sporting events, competitions, historic monument tours, fashion demonstrations, Ukraine Protests, sunsets, sunrises, etc. Almost anything can be found.
Replay: Broadcasts can be replayed within 24 hours and you can choose to save the video to your camera roll. On the replay, viewers can comment and leave hearts to have the full experience. Broadcasters have the option to delete the replay at any time.
Broadcast to Private Groups: You can broadcast to a select group of people or the world. Press the lock icon before going live and choose whom you would like to invite to your broadcast. Private broadcasts are great for meetings and private family gatherings.
Promoting your Broadcast: You can Share your Periscope Broadcast on Twitter by tapping the bird icon before you start the broadcast. When you go live, a link is sent to your Twitter followers so they can watch via the app or web. Even if you don’t share the broadcast on Twitter, your broadcast will show up in a feed along with other live broadcasts but viewers will have to find your feed out of the list.
Periscope Followers: In Periscope you generate your own list of followers. If you follow other people, you will get notified when they start a Broadcast. Or, you can watch broadcasts from links posted on Twitter or from within Periscope. The app suggests people for you to follow based on your Twitter Network. You can follow new people, or unfollow if you don’t want to be notified when they go live. Modify your notification options in the Settings App > Notifications > Periscope.
Data Usage and Rates: Using Periscope if free but if you are using Periscope over a cellular network, data fees may apply. Watching or broadcasting from Periscope uses a significant amount of data. If you have a limited cellular data plan you may want to only use Periscope while you are on a wi-fi connection. If you are on a cellular network, watching or streaming a broadcast consumes data from you plan. Roughly 400MB of data is used in about 30 minutes of watching live streams. If you have a 2GB monthly data plan and watch 30 minutes a day, your data plan would be used up in about 4.5 days.
Data Usage Tip: If you are not sure if you are using a Wi-Fi or cellular network, watching this video will show you how to force your phone to a Wi-Fi connection if it is available.
You can always check and see how much cellular data you have used each month on your iPhone by going to Settings App > Cellular. Scroll down to Cellular Data Usage.
Similar Apps: Meerkat is a similar app that was introduced early in 2015 and is popular. However, it does not have the Twitter integration features provided in Periscope.
Other features of Periscope include:
- Global section – this lists the most recent live broadcasts from around the world.
- Home Feed – Shows live broadasts and replays tailored to you.
- Follower Only mode – Allows only viewers that you follow to comment on your broadcast
- Block Users – You can block inappropriate comments by tapping on the comment. This displays the block user option.
Things to be aware of: If there are a large number of viewers the broadcast can run slow. And, sometimes broadcasts come in and out of viewing if the broadcaster or viewer has a poor connection. It is also against the terms of service for users to rebroadcast copyrighted content such as movies and TV shows.
Platforms: iOS Only
Periscope Direct Download Link: