The release of Twitter’s new Periscope (there is similar app available called Meerkat) is the most important development in social media in years. The integration of live streaming within an established social media platform finally gives me a reason to use Twitter and gives the platform a chance to make money via banner ads and sponsored live streams for Twitter.
The $100 million investment in Periscope technology by Twitter gives users an easy way to turn their smartphone into a live remote telecast. Periscope lets viewers tap their approval by displaying a heart (similar to a “like”) and Tweet their comments and questions to the person initiating the stream, who can simply deliver their response via the smartphone’s microphone. Get it?
Periscope lets you invite Twitter followers to your live stream, after which your stream is archived so that your follower base can access it. In the first day of using the app I witnessed a variety of useless streams ranging from dog walks in London, to young girls smoking pot in a car, to a Swedish disco. You can imagine where all of this new capability can go. It gives rise to millions of entertainers, proud moms and dads, and amateur porn stars and young brats looking to shock the planet with their antics. In the world of social media, what else is new?
My first experiment was to stream my wife shopping for shoes in Asheville’s famous Topps. Within a minute, I had 21 people from around the world recommending that we visit Biltmore Estate, suggest a pair of purple shoes, and ask that we pick up a pair of Nike running shoes.
Yet, this new capability, mixed with the thrill of witnessing something live instantly anywhere a cell or wi-fi signal is available, is a game changer for business. Within an hour of experiencing the potential of Periscope, I asked that Creative Energy create a sponsored Periscope account. Now, those who follow our agency can view us at work at a TV commercial shoot, see us crafting beauty at a food shoot, or experience a PR event live.
Now, the major news networks have millions of reporters, eager for notoriety by documenting a plane crash or building fire (the recent explosion and fire at a NYC restaurant was streamed by a new Periscope user). Imagine government security agencies being able to witness an airplane hijacking live from the camera of a passenger whose phone is connected to the plane’s wi-fi.
So, Periscope can be great for business when properly funneled to demonstrating the positives of a corporate offering…and a nightmare for any company whose employees own a smartphone.
Expect more live streams of dumb employees spitting on a fresh-made pizza. Now there can be millions of Edward Snowdens documenting the deep secrets of a government or a business. You will witness stunning product failures by your customers who will share with thousands your weakness. This thing called Periscope can get out of hand quickly. But let’s face it, you have experienced negative Tweets and posts for a decade now. Just be aware that a live stream is a great deal more emotional than a static post on Facebook.
So here is my advice to you. First, download the free Periscope app (yes, if you haven’t done so already, you will need a Twitter account to use it) and witness how it is currently being utilized. Imagine the positive uses of the new app for your business and understand how the app can be used against you.
So, want to create a sock puppet that every Tuesday morning demonstrates how your product can be important to thousands of potential customers? Try it. Want to set a policy within your company that does not allow smartphones in a sensitive area of your R&D lab or kitchen? You might.
All I am saying is that the ability for anyone anywhere to live stream and connect instantly with the world is another significant development in the history of marketing, PR, advertising and politics. If you would like to see how Creative Energy will use the new app, find us on Periscope and follow along.