When you work in social media, you have to be prepared for changes every time you open an app or type in a url. Think of every time you’ve opened up Facebook and Zuckerberg has adapted the format… again. You mutter to yourself or you use Facebook to post your feelings, as so many of us have done in the past. Many of the new apps that have been developed in the past year haven’t been my cup of tea. I’ve downloaded SnapChat twice and both times, got completely overwhelmed with it’s complicated functionality. And I’ve yet to master Vine. The idea of being funny in only six seconds feels incredibly difficult. I need at least 10 seconds to get my punch line out.
All that being said, I took a different approach when I started hearing rumblings about Periscope – an app that allows you to view live video streaming. I was immediately intrigued. With this app, you can experience concerts, gorgeous views, car rides with celebrities (I won’t tell you how long I watched Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen) and more. You also have the ability to share your world with everyone by hitting the ‘start broadcasting’ button and letting everyone LIVE into your surroundings. Viewers who have the Periscope app open are able to write questions that pop up, visible to the broadcaster and all viewers and it makes it easy for them to answer. For example, I just opened the app and watched:
- The Braves playing baseball
- A plane ride over Vancouver
- A tour of the Robot Expo at #DARADRC
The likelihood of me ever going to a Robot Expo before I started writing this was slim to none. But if I’ve ever in a conversation about robots, I can at least speak with some (very little) knowledge about them now that I’ve taken an insider look at what their expos look like. This app provides so much accessibility to “connect” that we decided to use it out when Twitter famous James Rebanks, author of, The Shepherd’s Life came to town last week. If you’re not following him on Twitter, you definitely should be: @herdyshepherd1
It wasn’t hard. We handed him our phone, opened the app, hit ‘start broadcast’ and waited for a few minutes while people joined. The great thing about the chat is that the second you start broadcasting, there is a tweet sent to your Twitter account saying that you’re over on Periscope waiting to chat live with everyone. It didn’t take long for people to start to roll in with questions about agriculture, sheep, family and more. For fifteen minutes (I think anymore would be too long), James Rebanks live chatted with people from all over the world. Granted there were some questions that came in that were a bit obscurer; boxers or briefs (answer: boxer briefs). He handled them like a pro and ignored the ones that he felt weren’t relevant or added anything to the conversation.
Some might say that it’s an app that is much too “social”, in some cases, I’d agree. No one should Periscope something that makes them feel their privacy is being violated, but I do think it’s got amazing opportunities to share those rare occurrences that don’t happen every day. Like ‘Periscoping’ some of the Judy Blume’s event when she comes to Toronto at the end of this month or sharing a stream of video of the new office we all just moved into last week. I think there’s some real fun to be had on this app if used responsibly. I can’t wait until the day, and it will come, when we start seeing authors embracing this app and letting us into their worlds, if only for 10 or so minutes.
What do you think of the app Periscope? Is it too much or interesting to you? Share with me in the comments below.