If you haven't heard of Periscope, you may have heard of their main competitor, Meerkat?
Periscope is an iOS application that enables users to run a live broadcast of whatever they are doing/seeing via their iPhone. The only catch is that you have to have an active Twitter account (well, it is owned by them!). In essence, everyone can become their own personal TV channel via their mobile device.
As with all social media, it won't be long before Twitter decide they want to generate revenue from the platform, and will no doubt go down the route of Snapchat, offering direct access to a tuned in audience for a fixed period of time, but will users be interested?
One thing I have noticed as a (semi-addicted) user of the app, is that people will broadcast literally ANYTHING. One of the early trends being the contents of your fridge…..seriously. One stream I jumped on to had over 100 live viewers watching a guy go through each item in his fridge, one-by-one! Needless to say I beat a hasty retreat, but it shows the sort of thing that people are willing to stay engaged with.
Celebrities are also beginning to jump on board, with the ex-England cricketer Kevin Pietersen broadcasting several times a day, and accumulating well over 400 live viewers on most occasions. But is this a sign that the app is hitting the mainstream? One thing can't be argues with, it is now a lot easier to retain an engaged audience, providing the content is interesting.
So what could brands do to become part of the action?
The honest answer is that I'm not really sure.
Would fans want to be there for the unveiling of a new product? Maybe! If a brand has 20k followers on their Twitter then a large proportion of these would receive a notification when they are broadcasting live, and not costing them anything to do, brands would have free exposure – to begin with!
Brands like Nike and McDonald's could use the app to answer critics questions, or Universal Pictures could take viewers "behind the scenes" during the filming of a blockbuster movie.
Whatever happens with the app one thing is clear; we are now able to closer to the action, in real time, via our mobile devices and I think that's pretty exciting!
If you want to tune into any of our riveting broadcasts, add us on Twitter here.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.Steve Jobs