Pros and Cons of Twitter’s Periscope App

The social media realm develops so quickly that once we think we have it all down, something else surfaces. This “something else” right now is Twitter’s new video streaming app called Periscope. In January of this year Twitter noticed the app had potential and bought the company for $100 million. The app was officially launched in March of 2015, and within 10 days had more than a million users. Now, the app is said to have over 10 million user accounts with 2 million users every day.

What does Periscope do?

Periscope is like having your own fly on the wall all over the world. It enables you to look inside different countries, cities, companies, and even people’s homes. Users can create a broadcast doing virtually anything anywhere and others can watch it while it’s happening. Users can comment and leave “hearts” live. After experimenting with the app, and talking to some users, here are some pros and cons I found.

pic 1Pros

1. Transparency

Periscope enables a person or a company to have complete transparency by broadcasting any and all aspects of daily business. While this can be abused, if used correctly, it can lead to clearer expectations from audiences. Consumers like to see behind-the-scenes, inside of companies, or celebrities’ lives. It’s almost like you’re there in real time. It also allows potential audiences to take a peak into your world and maybe spark their interest.

2. Innovation Pic 2

In today’s fast pace world, it’s either innovate or perish. Using Periscope shows that you are innovative and willing to try new things. If your social media followers haven’t used or heard of Periscope yet it will seem like you are on the cutting edge of technology. Finding new ways to broadcast to your audience could boost interest, because it’s something new and different.

3. Share Common Experiences

The app allows the broadcaster and the user to create common experiences. Since the broadcast occurs live and users can comment, it’s like you are together. The broadcaster is able to share their experience with others and respond to their comments as it’s happening. I watched a Periscope this week of someone going to Disney World. It was awesome; it was like I was there too!

4. Engagement

Periscope can be used as another platform for engagement. Broadcasters are able to address and answer viewer’s questions. Users can give broadcasts hearts by tapping the screen. This allows the broadcaster to see what content users liked. Video blogging can be used to educate the consumer about products, upcoming events, and more.

pic 3Cons

1. Invasion of Privacy

Of course, there are a few negative aspects to using the app. One is an invasion of privacy. There are settings to block users and make broadcasts private. However, these settings need to be used for them to work effectively. I have “scoped” into some broadcasts of people sitting at home on their couch drinking wine and talking to their friends. This did not add any value to my life. I found it a little creepy that myself, as a stranger, could just sit there and listen to their conversation. Some broadcasts you can pinpoint exactly where they are and at what time, so there could be some safety issues to think about.

2. Technical Issues

Just like the news and anything that occurs live, there can be technical issues. The most prominent thing I noticed on the app was glitchy broadcasts. Sometimes the video would pause or buffer throughout the entire thing. This could be an issue with watching anything live, but I hope they make the app run a little smoother in the future.

Overall, I think Periscope is a great app for content marketing. The pros seem to outweigh the cons. There might be a tad bit of a learning curve, but once figured out it’s fairly easy for anyone to use. In my research I found 5 tips for using Periscope that can really help out a new user. Have you used the app? What do you think of it?

If you enjoyed this post by Elizabeth, check out some of her other blogs

Elizabeth Muckensturm – Communication and Media Professor

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