31 July 2015 PR Musings Social Media

Social Media Trends: Periscope

Social media trends change almost on a weekly basis. Every few months a new app pops up that gets us just a little bit excited here at Cherish. Launched in late March, Periscope had us from the words ‘live stream’. We downloaded and eagerly awaited the notifications to watch our first live video. After watching a select few – some good, some not so good, it got us thinking if people are using the service effectively and what’s the future for Periscope?

As a live streaming platform, Periscope is incredibly useful for celebrities, sports personalities and influencers to give fans a real ‘live’ insights into their world. It allows us to get up close and live in the moment with them. They can ‘scope Q&A’s, cookery demonstrations, or even give us a tour of their homes, all via Periscope allowing followers to comment on the stream at the same time. It’s also a fantastic platform for new talent. Musicians, stand up comedienne’s or future TV presenters can all showcase their skills to the world wherever and whenever they want.

But what about the darker side of Periscope? As fun and useful as it is, Periscope is essentially voyeuristic. From reading various articles it appears that the service has already attracted the attention of the internet trolls, who use the live commenting capability as a way to post abusive messages. As anyone can view a ‘scope, it opens up a can of worms when it comes to reporting and dealing with those mistreating the service.

And what about piracy issues? The organisers of the recent Cannes Film Festival were so concerned with attendees using the new platform to post spoilers that they ramped up security to prevent any leaks, before the film launches. In addition, Periscope throws up a number of issues when it comes to sporting events. TV channels such as Sky and BT Sports pay millions to show exclusive tournaments and matches. With Periscope, anyone sitting in the crowd at an event can become a ‘cameraman’, essentially removing the need for the public to pay expensive subscription fees when they can view for free using Periscope.

From a PR perspective, Periscope can be a very useful tool if used correctly. For events such as awards ceremonies it can help engage fans as they can watch the action unfold live and interact with the brand. However it should be used sparingly. The gratuitous use of such a tool could almost act as a turn off, almost a self-serving entity. The viewer needs to feel like they’re being included. As far as social media trends go, we’re yet to dip our toes into the world of Periscope here at Cherish, but as and when we do… you’ll be the first to know.

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