Looking through the Periscope and seeing a Meerkat running away?

Thursday, 30 April 2015, by Roger Kenyon

So I was on twitter the other day, mixing it up, and wanted to view a periscope video that someone was taking of David Cameron visiting their workplace. In order to view this, I was asked to download the app.  Having played with Meerkat a little and feeling neither here nor there about it, I was intrigued and so I did, watched it for a few seconds and then browsed the realm of Periscope

Initial thoughts: its a lot of fun.  You can see whats happening in real time; the number of viewers going up and down and the trial and error that you get when filming live (all of these features are also on Meerkat).  I saw a reporter grabbing a chat with a lady who was in the knowabout the developments of the Royal baby and its super secure hospital get-in-get-out strategy; the knowledgeable lady was eating an apple. She hadnt had chance for a break and this reporter had caught her at an opportune moment which wasnt quite so good for the woman being questioned.  This wouldnt happen/be allowed on a well-polished broadcast from a news desk and for that reason, I liked it.

The app itself is very quick and easy to use and if the live video has ended, viewers are able to watch it up to 24 hours later.  This is something you cant do with Meerkat and so in goes a smiley face for Periscope and a sad face for Meerkat.

It has now been reported that Periscope reached one million users in its first 10 days - it is well integrated to Twitter, no doubt a hugely significant reason for its rapid uptake.  Meerkat also relies on Twitter for success but moves by Twitter have laid out a land that is much more pro-Periscope (it does own this app after all), allowing users to access their fellow Tweeters and gives a much larger database of videos to roam. 

Its good fun but is it any use to businesses? Short answer: yes.  Its interesting and can act as a conversation starter between those you share it with, at the very least.  For example, you can shoot some behind the scenesaction, grab a snippet of an interesting talk, and get a quick Periscope up.  It doesnt have to be meaty but if it is then great; it could be used to hold a mini webinar, showcase an event or do a little Q+A.  It can also be quirky and snappy, all will serve as a way to give (potential) customers an insight into your world and demonstrate the kind of work your company is involved with and the message you want to send out. 

Periscope is the one to go for at the moment - providing you have an iPhone, android users must explore the world of Meerkat for the time being - the upward spiral of Periscope users is big but much steadier than that of Meerkat.  Meerkat was a huge hit at SXSW and the talk of the town for a little while afterwards but is now seeing a drop off whilst the love for Periscope is coming into full bloom.

The best way to learn in this case is by doing.  Try out both Meerkat and Periscope and see which one works best for you.  We like the features on Periscope and the general feel of it but there are many who prefer Meerkat. 

Video is one of the best ways to communicate with your audience and these live streaming apps can be a great addition to your video repertoire. 

For any advice or video work for your business, contact stephen@kenyons.co.uk

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