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The next big thing? What the heck is this Periscope, anyway?

Periscope is emerging as the clear favorite new app, but what exactly is it and why you really need to know more about it.



All of these new live streaming tools make your head spin

Twitter has made their preference for Periscope (over Meerkat) clear, but what does Periscope actually do? If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s slated to be the next best thing in the Twitter world.

periscope appPeriscope lets you set up a live video shoot, adding a title, and your current location, if you choose. Then, when you start the broadcast, your followers on Periscope will receive a notification to watch. All they need to do see your stream instantly, is touch the provided link.

During your live video broadcast, viewers can comment, or like the video. These are visible instantly. You can see comments on your phone and other viewers can see them as they are typed, allowing you to instant chat over your broadcast, as it happens.

Viewers can also “like” your video, by hovering, or pressing, anywhere on the screen. Once a video is liked, a heart icon will float up for everyone to see, spurring conversation on further.

The video lives on after the broadcast

Once your broadcast is finished, you can either save the video to your camera roll, or make it available for viewers to see and replay. This allows viewers that missed the original broadcast to see the video for up to 24 hours after you post it.

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When you think about this in the larger context, this allows anyone to make live streaming easy and accessible, anywhere. Concerts, games, movies, parties, and more can all “go live” now with Periscope.


periscope app

In one way, this has the potential to be amazing by allowing viewers to see what it’s like to party in China, or attend a concert in Berlin, but on the other hand, this has the potential to be viral, in the worst since of the word. At least with YouTube, users had to wait for the video to upload; with Periscope all those questions choices in college are going to go live instantly.

I see Periscope as a little bit like Instagram meets YouTube

There are plenty of videos to chat about, just like YouTube, but there’s more of an Instagram-type following. The videos come up fairly fast, since they are live feeds, so it’s a bit chaotic right now, as it is so new. As Periscope loads, pulling down will refresh the list of videos rather quickly and it is easy to accidentally refresh the stream when you are actually trying to tap on a specific stream thereby losing the stream completely in the refresh.

You can also post your Periscopes to your Twitter followers (sound like Meerkat?), by tapping the Twitter icon before you start broadcasting. If you forget to select this icon, only Periscope users will see your broadcast. Again, like the Instagram following I mentioned, Periscope will suggest people for you to follow. You can see these suggestions under the “people” heading.


periscope app

If you only want to share your broadcast with certain people, only friends and family for instance, you can do that as well. Simply select the people you want to see your broadcast and they’ll get a notification to view and they will be the only people to see.

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Right now, Periscope is still a bit rough around the edges, but with full support from Twitter, I expect it to get a bit more polished soon.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.



  1. Ken Brand

    April 13, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Nice share. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Is Twitter bullying the competition? - AGBeat

  3. Michael

    April 15, 2015 at 7:36 am

    When are these two apps going to be available for the Android market?

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  5. Pingback: Periscope updates iOS app to address some user issues - AGBeat

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