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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.

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.

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.

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  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?

  4. Pingback: Riff is Facebook's answer to Periscope and Meerkat - AGBeat

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

  6. Pingback: Top Social Networks - #30daysFP - FEATURED photog

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Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?



Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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Social Media

TikTok enters the e-commerce space, ready to compete with Zuckerberg?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Setting up social media for e-commerce isn’t an uncommon practice, but for TikTok this means the next step competing with Facebook and Instagram.



Couple taking video with mobile phone, prepared for e-commerce.

Adding e-commerce offerings to social media platforms isn’t anything new. However, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is rolling out some new e-commerce features that will place the social video app in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram.

According to a Financial Times report, TikTok’s new features will allow the platform to create and expand its e-commerce service in the U.S. The new features will allow TikTok’s popular users to monetize their content. These users will be able to promote and sell products by sharing product links in their content. In return, TikTok will profit from the sales by earning a commission.

Among the features included is “live-streamed” shopping. In this mobile phone shopping channel, users can purchase products by tapping on products during a user’s live demo. Also, TikTok plans on releasing a feature that will allow brands to display their product catalogs.

Currently, Facebook has expanded into the e-commerce space through its Facebook Marketplace. In May 2020, it launched Facebook Shops that allows businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram stories into online stores.

But, Facebook hasn’t had too much luck in keeping up with the video platform in other areas. In 2018, the social media giant launched Lasso, its short-form video app. But the company’s TikTok clone didn’t last too long. Last year, Facebook said bye-bye to Lasso and shut it down.

Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok by launching Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to share short videos just like TikTok, but the future of Reels isn’t set in stone yet. By the looks of it, videos on Reels are mainly reposts of video content posted on TikTok.

There is no word on when the features will roll out to influencers on TikTok, but according to the Financial Times report, the social media app’s new features have already been viewed by some people.

TikTok has a large audience that continues to grow. By providing monetization tools in its platform, TikTok believes its new tools will put it ahead of Facebook in the e-commerce game, and help maintain that audience.

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Social Media

Your favorite Clubhouse creators can now ask for your financial support

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Clubhouse just secured new funding – what it means for creators and users of the latest quarantine-based social media darling.



Woman talking on Clubhouse on her iPhone with a big smile.

Clubhouse – the live-voice chat app that has been taking the quarantined world by storm – has recently announced that it has raised new funding in a Series B round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

The app confirms that new funding means compensation for creators; much like the influencers on TikTok and YouTube, now Clubhouse creators will be able to utilize features such as subscriptions, tipping, and ticket sales to monetize their content.

To encourage emerging Clubhouse creators and invite new voices, funding round will also support a promising “Creator Grant Program”.

On the surface, Clubhouse is undoubtedly cool. The invite-only, celebrity-filled niche chatrooms feel utopic for any opinionated individual – or anyone that just likes to listen. At its best, Clubhouse brings to mind collaborative campfire chats, heated lecture-hall debates or informative PD sessions. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m actually obsessed.

And now with its new round, the video chatroom app will not only appear cool but also act as a helpful steppingstone to popular and emerging creators alike. “Creators are the lifeblood of Clubhouse,” said Paul & Rohan, the app’s creators, “and we want to make sure that all of the amazing people who host conversations for others are getting recognized for their contributions.”

Helping creators get paid for their labor in 2021 is a cause that we should 100% get behind, especially if we’re consuming their content.

Over the next few months, Clubhouse will be prototyping their tipping, tickets and subscriptions – think a system akin to Patreon, but built directly into the app.

A feature unique to the app – tickets – will offer individuals and organizations the chance to hold formal discussions and events while charging an admission. Elite Clubhouse rooms? I wonder if I can get a Clubhouse press pass.

Additionally, Clubhouse has announced plans for Android development (the app has only been available to Apple users so far). They are also working on moderation policies after a recent controversial chat sparked uproar. To date, the app has been relying heavily on community moderation, the power of which I’ve witnessed countless times whilst in rooms.

So: Is the golden age of Clubhouse – only possible for a short period while everyone was stuck at home and before the app gained real mainstream traction – now over? Or will this new round of funding and subsequent development give the app a new beginning?

For now, I think it’s safe to say that the culture of Clubhouse will certainly be changing – what we don’t know is if the changes will make this cream-of-the-crop app even better, or if it’ll join the ranks of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in being another big-time social media staple.

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