Within 4 months, Periscope has surpassed 10 million accounts. Twitter’s live video streaming acquisition seems to be sustaining a fair amount of community growth and tech journalism attention. That has attracted the folks in adland, and the eyes of early adopter marketers, who are now scrambling to assess how to leverage this new audience in a fresh paradigm of live video sharing.
Before diving into the question of how and whether your brand should be using Periscope, let’s take a quick look at the current app user experience. The app has been changing quite a bit: according to Periscope’s latest Medium post, the product team’s focus has been on notifications and enhancing the Global Feed experience, where users can find live streaming options by exploring a global map. There are now featured users in the People section, and broadcasts are currently stored and viewable in the user’s profile for a period of time after the broadcast. Users can follow their Twitter friends who are also Periscope users, but there still isn’t a way to follow Facebook friends or Periscope app users from a contact list. Lastly, the broadcasts can now be viewed in a desktop browser, without the need to forcefully download the app.
In short, the app is robust and well designed, but still changing at fast pace. The major hurdles in the user experience are actually on the cellular network side. Data is still expensive in most countries, and network speeds are not constant. Users in locations with advanced 4G networks — but high concentration of tall buildings — face problems in their broadcasts. Video broadcasting is the juggernaut of data consumption, and that has a big effect on most mobile users in developing markets.
With the app experience still evolving, and network issues still playing an important role, there’s still a bit of time for most brands to consider using Periscope. We see a low hanging fruit opportunity for brands that currently rely on events as part of their marketing mix. Periscope is a quick and easy way to increase ROI in the investments already done in putting these events together. Media and journalism brands are also natural fits. The government sector might be one of the best opportunities of them all.
It is important to highlight that brands with a healthy number of Twitter followers have a start advantage on Periscope. Without in-built connectors to other social networks, Periscope broadcasts are usually found organically on Twitter feeds, and via push notifications.
In summary, have your marketing team download and explore the app. Invite your extended PR and agency team to do the same. Consider using Periscope for internal content sessions (private broadcasts are possible). Provision for free and fast wifi coverage during your brand events, in order to incentivize the use of Periscope. Start following a few featured users, and keep an eye on what type of content they are highlighting. The interesting use cases for Periscope are still being defined, and there hasn’t been any outstanding brand use cases yet. You still might be the first one.