Twitter launched its new live streaming video app, Periscope, at the end of March in direct competition with Meerkat. No, not the irritatingly vocal version that dominates our TV adverts, but another app that does pretty much the same thing. However, it looks as though Periscope is usurping Meerkat in the popularity stakes.

Beam me up, Scotty

So what’s the inspiration behind Twitter’s live-stream video app, Periscope? According to their website, ‘It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.’

Loveable features

Fortunately you don’t need to be a hardcore ‘trekkie’ or a fan of the nautical to embrace Periscope. All you need is an iPhone or iPad, a Twitter account and you’re good to go.

Simply download the app from the App Store and decide whether you wish to subscribe to the Periscope broadcasts of those you follow on Twitter when prompted. If you do, you’ll receive handy notifications every time they stream, giving you the opportunity to interact by either adding a message or your approval by sending a ‘heart’. And in turn, your Twitter followers who use the Periscope app and choose to subscribe to your broadcasts can interact with you and show their appreciation too. Perfect.

Other features you’ll love include selecting whether to broadcast to your entire audience or a targeted selection and promoting your stream on Twitter. Also, receiving invaluable data about your broadcast’s performance, such as viewers, duration, time watched and retention.

Get Periscope savvy

The attraction of live-stream video apps for personal use is obvious, but how could businesses maximise Twitter’s new play thing?

Where do we start? The possibilities are endless. How about product launches and demonstrations, promotions and deals, live-streaming from events and glimpses behind the scenes, or even interviews and tips and guides.

However you choose to utilise Periscope, it’s a great way to share visual content with your audience and interact in real-time. Just make sure your content is engaging, adds value or is newsworthy, and more importantly, is very shareable. If it hits the spot, your followers will do the rest.

Think before you live-stream

What about invasion of privacy? We’re glad you asked. Whilst it’s commonplace for people to be snap-happy with their smartphones and record video footage, if it’s to be used commercially for social media or a digital advert, permission is required from those shown in the video.

If permission is not obtained, those captured in the video could be within their rights to sue the company. So a word to the wise, make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you live-stream.