The name “Periscope” has been sweeping the social media world for the past year since the app’s unveiling. But as a relatively new platform, ambiguity still lingers about its capabilities and best use, leaving room for some much needed clarification.
So what exactly is Periscope? Periscope is a live video streaming mobile app, launched and purchased by Twitter in March 2015. Essentially, users can share and view live video on the go.
Viewers can join in on broadcasts by following other users and participating in real-time discussion. Not only can users look up other users by name, but they can also find live streams by location. After a stream has ended, the video remains accessible on the app for 24 hours before disappearing. Don’t worry though, your videos can be saved to your phone to share more permanently via alternate platforms.
But how does this new social accessory apply to the public relations world?
Periscope has become a potential game changer in building brand identity. Major companies have already integrated it into their promotional strategies in various ways.
Using Periscope, businesses are able to provide an inside look at the workplace and the faces behind their products, allowing for humanization of the brand. One early adopter of this tactic is DKNY, which uses Periscope to give followers a raw, behind-the-scenes look at the fashion world. Other brands have quickly followed their lead. Specifically in the public relations realm, PRSSA National has begun using Periscope at national events, offering the live experience to members who could not attend.
Connecting with the market on this personal level and allowing consumers to venture beyond the finalized product also gives a brand the essence of transparency. Establishing this trust with the consumer could quickly become essential in the correspondence of breaking news or (heaven forbid) a public relations crisis.
Another tactic Periscope introduces is live Q&A sessions. Spotify has already implemented this feature, giving exclusive Periscope performances and interviews with artists where questions can be proposed and responded to in real time. This tactic allows consumers to learn more in depth about their favorite companies; in the reverse perspective, companies can use these sessions to hone their product development based on viewer opinion.
In the final stages of development and release of new products and services, businesses can use Periscope to provide tutorials and demos where viewers can ask specific questions while being walked through the process. It’s like a YouTube how-to video on steroids.
So next time you’re scoping out your favorite brands, see if they’ve taken the plunge in hosting this unique app experience.
Do you follow any brands or accounts on Periscope?
Leah Tobak is from Franklin, Tennessee and is a public relations student at the University of Alabama graduating in May of 2016. She is a staff writer at both Platform Magazine and Alice Magazine, the Alabama Victoria’s Secret PINK Campus Representative, and in her spare time runs a fashion and lifestyle blog. Connect with her on Instagram, @leahhteee, or Twitter, @leah_tobak.