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Why Periscope Is Worth Watching

We live in exciting times for the digital media. Seems like every single day there’s a new app or service that “promises to change the future”. With all of these promises though very few actually break the barrier and claim their seat at the digital table of culture.

In the first few months of 2015 we’ve already seen quite the stir in the digital waters. From the re-rise of Snapchat to Meerkat and even the UBERs and LYFTs of the world spiking to record numbers. Within all this digital clutter an app comes to the surface (no pun included) that I think is really worth watching. It’s called “Periscope” and although it’s concept isn’t game changing the user experience is.

Instead of trying to explain what it is, a screen shot from their website will do better….

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 12.16.06 PM

Although we have seen services like this before through Qik(not active anymore), Livestream, and Ustream, Periscope offers a new outlook and approach to the idea of streaming live video from your point view. Periscope’s user experience is much slicker than some of the others I’ve looked at, and after diving in deeper to how they built the app and approached the technology, here is why I vote to keep an eye on Periscope.


Twitter Acquired Periscope

In tech land (not a real place) anyone who has done something significant in the digital space, like Twitter, knows what it takes to be great. When Twitter acquired Periscope it told me 2 things.

  • Twitter sees potential in LIVE video mixed with tweet like conversations.
  • Periscope now has access to the Twitter community.


Twitter has reported that more than a million people signed into Periscope during the first 10 days.


Solid Technical Structure

Streaming live video can be a VERY tricky technical process. From the proper codec to proper bandwidth needs, the success of a live stream completely relies on the ability to process the data information. Periscope took great account into monitoring how much “tech power” gets pushed to the user based on their connection for optimized experiences. A decade ago there was no iPhone, smartphone, or even network connections like a 3G, 4G, or LTE. Though the mobile networks are still trying to catch up in some areas, it’s never been a better time to start playing with the idea of live mobile video again. Periscope is built for iOS only right now and promises to come to the Android Market very soon.



The Periscope Potential

Here’s where the use of Periscope becomes exciting to me. Right now people are still getting use to it and so we don’t really know what Periscope “does” for our everyday life. You’ll see a lot of random conversations about pointless topics and small children eating breakfast and making a mess.(shout out to Jax) However, imagine the potential of being able to talk to your community all at the same time from a solid platform. Youth pastor starts a Periscope and instantly his youth group is getting notifications that “Youth Pastor ____ Is Live”. Students jumping on to connect in chat and hear the 60 sec devo or announcements from their youth pastor is an instant way to gather the group. The success of a movement is when everyone moves together. It’s hard to keep a community moving if we area looking at 1 Instagram video at different times of the day. Take a step farther..
As a believer I know that every eye will see and every ear will hear the return of Jesus Christ. How is that possible without technology? From wifi in the skies to mobile streaming, we are seeing technology take it’s rightful place in preparing for some major events. (Daniel 12)

The success of a movement is when everyone moves together.

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I’d challenge you to take the Periscope plunge and try it out. My quick tips for getting the full Periscope effect is the following.

  • Follow people you know.
  • Turn on notifications so you can see who’s LIVE.
  • Browse other “Global Streams”



It’s amazing how in a few clicks you can go from a fishing boat in Bora Bora to the 99u conference in New York. (Both which I did the other night.) Even as I finish this blog thousands of people are watching the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight through Periscope. This truly is the beginning of something grand.

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 12.55.59 AMAll brands aside, the truth is this… Mobile live video is the future in digital media. As there will always be a place for the 140 characters, but for some it’s just not enough anymore. Each of these tools (Periscope, Meerkat, Etc) are nothing more then platforms to voice a message you’re passionate about. I’m a firm believer that to go where we’ve never been, we have to do what we’ve never done. Everything we do should continue to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If Periscope is a tool that helps me do that, I’m all in.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the future of live mobile video.


Post Update (8-1-2015):

I’ve been on Periscope for almost 5 months and I believe the course has been set. People are slowly starting to understand where “live streaming” fits into our every day lives. I’m still more excited then ever about this platform. There’s huge potential!   I’d love for you to give me a follow and let’s journey this new digital frontier together. More info about the structure of my scopes can be found at andrewburchield.com/periscope.