Your Press Pass

Periscope is a live video streaming app for IOS and Android that launched in March of 2015.  Many campuses are utilizing Periscopes features and broadcasting campus tours.

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Cara Rousseau, manager of digital and social media strategy at Duke believes that live streaming technologies like Periscope and Meerkat will be part of the college communications and marketing tool kit.

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Various college digital strategy administrators anticipate that along with campus tours, commencement and behind the scenes footage before sporting events will be the subject matter that will thrive on these platforms. There are still many privacy sensitivities and many campuses continually investigating what the long term strategy is for these new applications. I am predicting that Periscope is going to be the next big video/social media platform for one reason, location. The famous saying in real estate, “it’s all about location, location, location” is a saying that transcends the real estate market.

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Periscope map interface

Meerkat hit the market just weeks before Periscope. The problem with Meerkat is that is doesn’t take into account the importance of communicating location in an engaging way. This comes from a school of thought that many programmers believe that textual information is enough, when in actuality it always depends on the vision of the product and what the intended experience is. I worked on a venture in 2013 called ‘Chimepin’, the idea was precisely what Periscope is but with some subtle differences. My partner and I hit the wall so many times because experienced entrepreneurs were always challenging us with the question, “why the map?” The map is in my belief exactly what makes the product unique and provides the ‘3rd’ dimension to the social media experience; time, content and space. That is precisely why Periscope is currently more popular than Meerkat. Almost all of us have a high quality communication tool ready to fire from the hip, literally. For the first time in history, we are able to broadcast in real-time, textual and AV content in a convenient fashion. We can now be 100% real-time reporters of our own story to our own followers and Periscope’s map interface will solidify a people’s news community. Ask yourself, how many times do you see a map when watching the news on traditional media? Whether it is reporting from the Middle East or political polling reports from a nation. Stories don’t happen in a box, our world is our stage, it is our reference point for news and Periscope has just given every person with a smart phone a press pass. I would argue that Periscope is more real-time than Twitter, the only issue is that a consumer doesn’t have a sense of what is trending, there is sort of an even playing field in regards to broadcast that Periscope hasn’t addressed that is still being remedied by social and traditional media. If global pins would change in size, reflecting the amount of viewership then this would allow consumers to visually filter through trending stories. As for campus tours from across the globe, what a fantastic feat, and institutions of higher learning can now audio visually appeal (in real-time) to potential candidates. I anticipate a candid learning culture to form on Periscope for more generally based questions, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Periscope will be used for more in depth instruction as well. There are many inferences I could make about whether or not Periscope will increase the admission rates of international students, I can attest that if colleges are increasingly more accessible via the web than it is fair to assume that as the economy is globalized than so will education culture. What do you think? Do you think apps like Periscope will change the way we consume news and the way we disseminate news? How can education leverage the use of Periscope?

7 comments

  1. First off, very interesting topic to think about. About hearing from BC’s social media team in class I began to become interested in Periscope. Yesterday I briefly used it to watch a bit of Donald Trump streaming. I have to say that Periscope connects people with news and information in ways that traditional media never could. It is real-time, up to date, and has no filter. If an event occurs the user can feel like they are truly THERE, and not just sitting in their living room watching a TV screen. I get very annoyed with traditional media at times because they can choose what we hear and what we don’t. Periscope provides the opportunity for users to see what is happening for themselves, with no filter in between.

    On your second point, Periscope can absolutely be leveraged by education. The ability to get a campus tour from anywhere is just the beginning. Think about if Periscope would allow students to sit in on classes. Maybe they want to see if they would enjoy the class content or the teacher. I think Periscope could have numerous applications in both education and beyond. It will be interesting to see if more individuals begin to rely on Periscope more and more.

  2. Great post! There are definite pros and cons to a virtual campus tour. On the one hand, campus tours around the country become exhausting very quickly. I visited schools all around the country, and after a few tours I lose all motivation. It would be very convenient to attend a virtual tour, log off, and already be back at my house. On the other hand, I find it hard to really get the feel of a school without physically walking around campus. Being there in person allows you to truly experience busyness of a campus. For any school I was considering attending, I would want to experience the school first hand, rather than virtually. However, I bet tons of people would prefer to tour in the comforts of their home, so I think we will see this becoming a growing trend.

  3. I definitely see the potential for technologies like this on college campuses. The convenience of going on college campus tours from your couch sounds like a great idea and something I could have used back in the day. But in my personal opinion I do feel like being there in person has an element that technology cannot replace. I blogged about Kobe Bryant’s retirement and the role of digital media in Player’s communication to the people. Periscope and these technologies could potentially come into play in the future. What if we had players announce their retirement to the fans on Periscope in the future? you never know!

  4. Periscope is a great technology, but I do not believe it will be a major social media platform the way that Snapchat or Instagram are. The concept of sharing Live Video is honestly great, but it allows for a lot less junk-filtering; technically, anyone at all can jump on periscope and launch live streams, and I wonder how many of these “consumer journalists” are actually going to be streaming beneficial content. If you are Boston College, do you really want multiple students on your campus streaming their BC experience on Periscope? Some may have very interesting and appealing experiences to share, but several would not and might actually turn away perspective students. Of course the argument is that you wouldn’t watch those streams and switch to better streams, but then again, isn’t the entire point about Periscope to give live, unabridged, unbiased views from the consumers’ perspective about whatever they are sharing? I doubt the level of subjectivity related to Periscope will allow it to be a major news vehicle moving forward!

  5. Has anyone in our class used Periscope or Meerkat yet to live broadcast? Or watch another live broadcast?

    I’m still trying to learn snapchat before moving onto another social media platform. But I would like to hear if people who have watched a live campus tour stream have found any benefits in it.

  6. To answer @ericinclass‘s questions – I tried Meerkat when it first launched but didn’t stick to using it. Once again, the current situation in the live streaming markets proves that the first mover can’t always keep its advantages – Pericope receives a lot more media exposure and has a much faster growth. The functional differences between the two apps are minimal – but like the video we discussed in class, sometimes small designs might actually matter a lot. The world map example mentioned in the blog is a good example. Another one would be: currently neither app allows comment but Periscope allows users to “heart” the video, so at least the publisher has some measure of success. What’s more, since at the beginning stage these apps reply heavily on social media to attract more viewers to the app, being owned by Twitter gives Periscope more advantages and synergy in its ecosystem. I think there is definitely future in this market, but it’s up to the apps to develop appealing features and marketing approaches to generate user buy-in, as well as clever ways of monetization to maintain the business.

  7. I am not sure live streaming is here to stay but if it does stay, I think Periscope would take all or most given its deep integration with Twitter (its parent company). I liked your observation on how Periscope would be a better tool if the pins had different sizes to indicate the number of users tuning in. One of the reasons why I don’t check Periscope often (except for when huge things happen) is that I can’t easily scroll through to get a preview on what’s going on. I think that beyond making it easier for users to find the most popular streams, the platform also needs to be better at giving you a “newsfeed” type of summary. Perhaps if users employ certain hashtags the streams could be filtered through the Twitter stream? Remains to be seen but I’m sure the team is thinking about these questions. Thank you for a great post!

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