Update 5/26/2015: Periscope is now available for Android devices. Read below to learn more.
If you’re looking for a window on the world, check out Periscope, a new app from Twitter that live streams videos. You can feel as if you’re part of events as you watch them live using Periscope. While we’ve seen other apps do live stream videos, Twitter integration makes a big difference with Periscope.
Periscope is a live streaming video app that was launched by Twitter in March and has been soaring in popularity. Twitter has given Periscope a lot of exposure which has contributed to the widespread adoption of the app by many users in a very short time and made it easy to get started using the app.
The more users broadcast interesting videos, the more people will use and share the app, so expect Periscope’s popularity to continue to skyrocket.
Anyone who’s suffering from social media overload may be resistant to adding another account to their list. But Periscope being owned by Twitter makes both following people and getting followers much easier than starting on a brand new social media site.
People to Follow on Periscope
Periscope is the most fun when you find interesting people to follow. Hint: not everyone live streams video that’s worth watching. The key is to find those who broadcast interesting videos and don’t do it too often.
I recently watched the US Department of Interior broadcast a fascinating informational session about the blooming cherry trees around the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.
The broadcaster responded to the questions immediately and received a lot of hearts.
I also saw an inside tour of the British Embassy in Washington, DC and broadcasts from backstage at The Ellen Show and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) May 8, 2015
Finding People to Follow
Finding interesting accounts to follow on Periscope is easy. When you first join Periscope, follow any people on Twitter you think may be interesting. You can always unfollow them later if you guessed wrong.
You can also search for people to follow. Tap the people icon in the bottom right corner of the menu bar, then tap the magnifying glass icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Not everyone uses their Twitter ID as their Periscope ID so you may have to guess at their name.
Tap on the globe icon in the menu bar at the bottom of your screen to see live streams from around the world.
Also check your Twitter feed for people tweeting about live broadcasts on Periscope. Search #periscope to find recommendations for live streams to watch.
Follow @Periscope on Twitter to find out about interesting live streams. Check out your favorite accounts to see whom they follow.
Conversations on Periscope
Although the video on Periscope is one-way, the conversation isn’t. Viewers can ask questions and make requests, which the broadcaster sees in real-time and can respond to.
Popular broadcasters have their streams fill up fast. Be sure to act quickly if you see a stream you want to join.
You can join in the conversation, send hearts and share the broadcast on Twitter.
You can show your appreciation by sending hearts to the broadcaster during the live stream. As you watch the video you’ll see hearts floating up to the top of the screen (a lot if the video is especially awesome).
When you view a user’s profile you can see how many hearts they’ve earned to decide whether they’re follow-worthy. As Periscope is a fairly new platform, don’t rule out anyone with few hearts. They may just be getting started!
Because videos are live, you may want to enable notifications for Periscope to make sure you don’t miss out. You’ll get a notification any time someone you follow starts streaming live.
Go to Settings >> Periscope >> Notifications to change your notification preferences for the app.
You can’t turn off notifications for individual Periscope users so you should unfollow anyone who floods your notification screen with their broadcasts.
Periscope lets you turn off notifications for three hours on your Apple Watch if you want a break from alerts about new live streams.
Note that Periscope doesn’t have an app for the Apple Watch. You need to open the app on your iPhone to view the Periscope video stream.
Broadcasters can save their videos for 24 hours on Periscope so you don’t have to worry too much if you miss a live stream.
Tap on the TV icon in the left corner of the menu bar to see live and recent videos.
If you’re doing something fun and/or interesting, you can quickly share your life with the world. Open the Periscope app and tap the camera icon in the menu bar. You can type in a description, share your location and tweet your broadcast by tapping on the icons.
You can also keep your broadcast private to select followers by tapping on the lock icon.
Tap Start Broadcast to begin live streaming your video. Let the hearts begin…
Getting Started with Periscope
Periscope is currently available as an app, not a website. The Periscope app is currently available free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Update 5/26/15: The Periscope app is now available free for Android devices at Google Play: Periscope app for Android
Download the app and then create an account. You have a choice to sign in with your Twitter account or create a new account. I recommend you sign in with Twitter so you can sync people you follow and who follow you.
Check out the excellent tutorial at my friend Ana Hoffman‘s site of how to get started with Periscope:
For more background information on how Periscope was developed, check out WIRED:
Have you watched a Periscope live stream video yet? Do you have any recommendations of people to follow? Do you broadcast Periscope videos? Feel free to leave your Periscope ID in your comment. Share your thoughts with us below!