Periscope: Live Streaming From Your Phone

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Periscope is a tool that allows users to live stream directly from their phones no matter where they are. Currently there is no desktop version and Periscope exists solely as an app for iPhone and Android users.

Periscope was developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein. They came up with the idea when when Beykpour was traveling in Istanbul where protests broke out. Beykpour thought that Twitter was excellent for reading about what was happening, but that he wanted to see what was happening as well.

The company was started under the name “Bounty” in February of 2015. They raised $1.5 million from Founder Collective, Scott Belsky, Maveron, Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Bessemer, Stanford – StartX and Sam Shank in April of 2014. Twitter acquired the company in January of 2015 before the company launched. There it was renamed and modified to compete with a rival company called Meerkat.

Since its launch, Periscope has reached over 10 million accounts, was named Apple’s 2015 iPhone App of the Year and has been featured on “The Late Show with Steven Colbert.” Periscope can be described as a live streaming app.

It allows you to use your phone camera to live stream what you are doing or what you are seeing. People can tweet out a link to their live stream and viewers can tap on the picture they are seeing to award the streamer “hearts.” Viewers receive 500 hearts every time they log in. You can also comment on a stream you like. A lot of popular vloggers from YouTube use it to answer any questions that their fan base has. Before Periscope, streamers had to use a computer in order to live stream, but now it is completely doable only using your phone.

Since Periscope is still young, a lot of people still don’t know about it, and the statistics for its user base are constantly changing. A lot of young people, from what statistics show, don’t use or have never used Periscope. Older people, 25 to 30, use it to connect with content creators and ask them questions. Periscope is currently rising in usage, but it has yet to be determined if that user base will continue to expand, rather than plateau. Another problem is that people may not know what to stream about. Though it may be used occasionally to show people breaking news, like it was in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, it is often used by the quasi-famous for Q&A’s. One thing is certain, it is not used often for how Beykpour and Bernstein intended.

Questions:

  • Do you use Periscope?
  • Would you ever consider making a personal live stream?
  • If you don’t, what do you think would be the topic of your live stream?
  • Do you have any friends or family who use it?