Have you ever been experiencing something and you wished, “Wow, I wish my friends, family, and random strangers could experience this too!”
Well now they can with Periscope.
Periscope is a newer social media app focused on live streaming your experience and content to your followers via mobile camera. Since it’s newer, it’s worth taking a look at. This article will break down the app itself: What it does, what it does well, and what it does not so well. Let’s dive in!
This Is Periscope
Periscope‘s purpose is to share live video experiences with the world.
This seems to be the main focus of plenty of companies these days, with things like VR, Google Glass, and more. While some of these tools are more like sniper rifles that focus on one person or group of people (Google+, Life360, etc…), Periscope is more like a shotgun, aiming content at everyone and anyone willing to listen. Kind of like, say, street evangelism. Hmmm…
As the viewer, you have limited options as far as what content you see. You log in with Twitter and you have the option to auto-follow those in your Twitter world. After that there are three main pages.
- Live List – Here you’ll see the Periscopes of those you follow, as well as the finished ones provided they’re within 24 hours of broadcasting. Suggested streams appear here if there’s nothing populated, as well as a prompt to view the next list.
- Global List – This is a hodgepodge of live videos. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the way the list populates. Most of the content in here is completely useless. People taking their dog for a walk. Chatting on their morning commute. Watching a movie. Just random stuff. That’s my main gripe. Nothing is filtered or searchable. But then there’s the actual interesting things. I saw a huge freighter pass through the Panama Canal. I saw tornadoes and lightning storms pummel the Midwest. I watched some incredible backstage footage of a music video. And that’s the magic of that.
- People List – Here you can search for users by @username, and browse the suggested users. You can also access your profile here and edit the basic profile things that one might want to edit. You can also view your previous broadcasts here as well.
As the broadcaster, you control pretty much everything. Who can comment, what the topic is, etc… Once you set a title and sharing settings, you’re at the wheel of a live stream. What you do from here on out is up to you.
You can switch between front and back cameras with a double tap on the screen. As the broadcaster, you can view the comments submitted by your viewers and see the (hopefully) steady stream of “hearts” on the right hand side of your screen.
Of the scopes I’ve been a part of, I can say they’re fairly interactive. The broadcaster normally has a subject or topic they would like to talk about, and the audience asks what they want to know from the broadcaster.
Not a lot of options here.
How Are We To Respond?
As a church techie, I often feel the church is behind the 8-ball when it comes to adopting, well, anything, but specifically new pieces of technology. So here’s a real quick idea of how I think we should respond to this “new” gizmo of an app:
- Use it – Don’t knock it until you try it. Well, maybe not with everything…but in this case it’s true. Play around with it and get the feel of it. Hold a test Periscope so you can learn the broadcasting interface. Tune in to scopes that interest you.
- Think beyond the obvious – Now that you’ve tried it out, start thinking of creative ways to utilize this both personally, and corporately for your entire church.
- Guard your heart – This warning comes with every bit of technology. If I feel church is behind the 8-ball, sin is ahead of the 8-ball pulling it along with a string. With every new piece of tech comes those who wish to exploit the tech for wrong purposes. I don’t think I have to explain that much more than that.
- Wait for the next article – In the next article I would like to share how I’ve been able to implement Periscope at my church.