What is Periscope?

Social media. Just when you think you’ve mastered one app, a new one is released. On March 26, 2015 Twitter’s live video stream app, Periscope, launched on iOS with the Android version launching shortly thereafter in May.

I think it’s going to be the next big thing.

Periscope is like the love child of YouTube and FaceTime/Skype. It is an app that you can download on your phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play on Android. The actual app itself is a place to find live broadcast streaming videos filmed from the front or rear camera of people’s phones. So instead of seeing perfectly edited video, it’s raw in-the-moment footage. It captures those completely human moments that were otherwise reserved for FaceTime’ing with family across the country. For example, my 5 year old waltzed into my ‘scope yesterday and started talking to me. But it was cute, and it was honest.

Often times, Periscope feels like a selfie come to life as a person holds the phone in front of their face and talks about a topic. Or they’re filming an event and you’re “walking” along with them in all the nauseating glory of moving video. Most scopes are 20 minutes or less. The best scopes are kept to one main topic, are short and sweet, and you can tell the person prepared a bit for it.

A really cool part of Periscope is viewers can interact and type questions or comments to the person while they’re filming. This creates a unique and awesome way for bloggers and industry experts to showcase who they are as a REAL life person, instead of still-frames of their food, fitness equipment, or lifestyle. For me, it’s helping me to verbally expand on my blog posts and explain further what I mean. What seemed too much like a tangent in written word, can often be more effective in verbal conversation. I’m also getting real-time feedback and questions from my viewers, which then helps me improve as a blogger for future posts.

I started hearing about Periscope in July or August after seeing a status update from FoodBabe about an upcoming scope. I created an account so that I could tune in, and then proceeded to have NO idea how to use it. I managed to watch her scope, but afterwards I sort of forgot about the app and let it sit unused until a couple weeks ago. When you first create your account, it recommends some of the most popular scopers but it’s a bit cumbersome navigating the search tool to link up with your friends or other bloggers. Like any new app, play around with it. Explore all the tools, navigation, and start following a couple of the trending users so you can get a better idea how it works.

The one thing that may hold Periscope back from really exploding among a wider breadth of users, is there is a slight intimidation factor. My favorite aspect about it (and probably the most intimidating part!) is there is no hiding who you are. Unlike the perfectly crafted words and images that are splayed across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, Periscope is like a live interview where personalities come through! Don’t get me wrong, I’m also one who will choose the best photo and edit my commentary several times before posting on these other platforms, BUT I also know there’s so much more to me and the message I want to deliver. Periscope so far is feeling like the most honest form of social media out there.

I think it’s opening an entire new door of opportunity for bloggers.

I love that bloggers I’ve been following for years are “coming to life” on Periscope. It feels more like a conversation with a good friend over FaceTime, than just a highlight reel of their best moments. It’s great hearing them speak candidly, and it has actually more often than not, increased my respect for their wealth of knowledge in not only health and fitness, but in turning a blog into an online business (I’m looking at you Katie at HealthyDiva!) I’m energized once again in taking Below the Fork to the next level, and the amazing scopes I’ve seen the past couple weeks are playing a large role in that.

There are 4 types of people who are on Periscope—and I think everyone can fit into one of these categories! There are those that are just quiet viewers (I almost put the word “lurkers” but that just sounds unnecessarily creepy haha) who only view scopes but never participate; those who watch and participate by typing out comments and questions to live scopers; those who only create new content but don’t watch others; and then the best of all: those who post scopes as well as actively watch others. There’s so much to learn from each other and Periscope is truly a meeting of the minds.

I hope you’ll consider joining Periscope! If you’re a blogger or have an sort of social media presence, or want to grow your business, then you must be on there. Choose to join in now while it’s still in its infancy, than waiting until it’s really blown up and you’re left in the dust.

Look for me @belowthefork on Periscope.

Do you use Periscope? What do you think about it?




Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Below the Fork where she encourages women to love themselves towards healthy. She is married with two boys, and lives outside of Philadelphia. She earned a B.A. in Communications from Villanova University. Meridith writes about FASTer Way to Fat Loss, fitness, nutrition, Celiac Disease, and easy (but delicious!) gluten-free recipes at belowthefork.com. Follow her @belowthefork on all social channels.

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