May 21, 2015
New to Periscope? Here are some tips to get started
Periscope is the latest social media app that seems to be taking the interwebs and smartphones by storm. And, I have quickly become addicted and I have a feeling you will be addicted as well.
So here are a few facts and tips that will hopefully get you up to speed:
1. Apple only as of this posting: This will change very quickly. There has been a lot of chatter that the Android app will be available this week and the increase of users is expected to explode just due to the sheer number of smartphone Android owners.
2. Owned by Twitter: Twitter purchased this app recently with the expectation that this would be a natural extension to what Twitter is all about. So, it comes as no surprise that if you have a Twitter account, joining is very simple. When you launch the service, it will ask you to access your twitter account and your profile will be imported into Periscope.
3. You don't need a Twitter account: For those who do not have a Twitter account or do not want to associate Periscope with Twitter, the app can be joined by providing a phone number. However, expect to be encouraged to join Twitter. And, truthfully, one reason good reason is Periscope will send a post to your Twitter feed announcing you have begun a live stream. It gives you another way to gather viewers and followers.
4. It is easy to use: One of the reason I think Periscope will be adopted quickly is its easy to use interface. Yes, there are always odd idiosyncrasies that come with every new app but this one has fairly few to make you nuts. When you join, you will see a few "featured" 'scopes at the top of the feed that most likely have lots of participants. These are a great place to start. You will pop into the live feed and you will be announced as "just joined". Don't worry. You can pop back out as fast as you popped in.
5. Bottom icons have meanings: From left to right, there is the TV which when clicked gives you a listing of current and recently aired 'scopes of accounts you follow. The Globe is a very long list of live 'scopes literally from around the world. You can hop into anyone you choose. The Lens allows you to start a 'scope using your phone or pad and will ask to use your camera, microphone, and location. The Heads help you find people to follow. You will see a list of people who you follow on Twitter and have also joined Periscope. Keep in mind only 1% of Twitter users have joined so far so not everyone will be there. You will also see featured accounts to follow as well as the most "hearted" users.
6. It is not all about the Hearts: Periscope created a "like" system using hearts as its icon of choice. Hearts are given to 'scopes that you are enjoying watching. All you need to do is tap the screen and a predesignated-by-periscope colored heart will shoot up on the screen.You can tell what color your heart is by looking at the shade of your profile picture when you enter a comment.
While this is a great way to show love and support to a 'scoper, it has already been corrupted IMHO. There are those who are building an audience and trying to grow their viewer base and since channel recommendations are "pushed" by the number of hearts someone has received, heart-begging has become one of the seeder sides of the platform.
7. Get prepared to swipe and to tap: Once you join a 'scope, you will go directly to the camera view where you will see the broadcast plus hearts and comments. When you swipe right, you will see the title of the 'scope as well the 'scopers profile name. You will also see a circle with a head and plus sign so you can start following them. That way when they begin broadcasting in the future they will pop up under the TV icon page.
When you tap on the name, the profile opens to show their blurb (links don't work, fyi), who they follow and who follows them and if they have any recent 'scopes. The settings gear lets you block the user, and sadly, over time this is a feature you will be glad exists. Trolls and Haters are e'rwhere, y'all. When the 'scope is live, you will have an opportunity to share it to your followers and it will pop up in their stream. An option to hide comments exists too. Since comments can completely cover what is being shot, it comes in handy.
8. A comment about comments: This is how the viewers interact with the 'scoper. Depending on the connection, the stream may not seem to match what you are seeing or hearing. Sometimes Periscope will limit the number of viewers who can comment. As to why or how this happens, the jury is still out.
You can also respond to another commentor by clicking on the comment and you will have a chance to directly reply. Their @name will automatically be filled in and you can type what you wish. But, be fast! Comments disappear quickly.
9. Let's look at the Replay: Once you finish a 'scope (you end a session by swiping down, something that may not be completely obvious), it will be available for replay for 24 hrs. However, there are some limitations to availability.
First, the 'scope must be saved to the phone or pad being used, and if there isn't enough space, then it is, for a lack of a better term, lost. You can automatically save the broadcast through your settings, which probably is a good idea to do from the beginning. But, you still need to stay on that screen and watch it save to ensure it happens. If you click away, it will more than likely disappear. Periscope keeps a copy as well on its servers and has said it does not know when (or if) 'scopes will be deleted. You can manually delete 'scopes if necessary.
Second, the time it takes for saving is completely dependent on your wifi or phone connection as well as the length of the 'scope. A recent recording will show up on the recents list, but it may have a greyed-out icon. It will switch to a play arrow when it is available to everyone.
10. Copyrights, Safety, Privacy, and Reuse are all in play: If you stream a movie on your TV or in a movie theater, be prepared to get shut down and even lose your account. Periscope got in a pretty big scrape over the number of people who streamed the Pacquiao and Mayweather fight, and the new CEO had to go on a quick press tour to smooth over some very ruffled feathers.
You also need to consider your safety when broadcasting as you are potentially providing enough information for someone meet up with you. And, keep in mind that when you signed up, you gave Periscope the permission to use your 'scopes to promote the company, but others can digitally capture your stream and rebroadcast it. Others do not have the legal right to rebroadcast your 'scope as you own the copyright; however, we all know that those who want to skirt legalities, will and once it is out on the internet, it is basically impossible to remove. (Isn't that right, Kim K?)
Periscope is in the wild wild west stage of its existence. It will evolve as more people join and figure out how they want to use it. Its features are pretty good for an app in its infancy, but there are many that need to be added for a better experience. Little things like better search and private messaging have got to be added. And, of course we can all expect to start seeing those pesky ads popping up in the very near future because Twitter put out $100 mil for this little gem and it expects to get paid.
Bottom line? I think you should join. I have seen a man feed hummingbirds from his hand, watched an Aussie walk through the streets of Paris at sunset, and participated in a debate on whether Game of Thrones has gone to far. You will find something to watch, I promise.
Leave your own tip or commentary below if you have something to add!
Oh, and I have absolutely nothing to do with Periscope. I just wanted to pass on what I have learned so far, and all opinions are my own.
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