4 Sep '15 What can we learn from Periscope

I have been using Periscope for a while now, and I am really enjoying it. If you don’t know it, Periscope is Twitter’s new live streaming app, that allows anyone to stream directly from one’s smartphone, and it will notify you as soon as someone you follow is live-streaming.

The concept of live streaming is not a new one, but Periscope (alongside with their competitor, Meerkat) has made it really easy to do so from a mobile device and, most importantly, to create a community of followers around it.

If you are on Twitter, it makes sense that you’d want to give Periscope a shot. What makes it different from YouTube is of course the live element, what makes it different from, say, Google Hangouts On Air, is the sense of impromptu-ness and familiarity that it creates, as you’re literally speaking from your phone, but also the fact that you already have a community of followers that will be notified when you start streaming, so there is no need to plan it in advance.

Personally, I have been using Periscope as a watcher, rather than a streamer, in order to follow some of my favourite people that I already follow on other social media channels.

What’s great about Periscope


When you use Periscope, two things will become obvious to you after a little while:

  1. The app is beautifully designed. It’s elegant yet simple to use.
  2. There is still a lot that can be improved.

I find this great, and I think there is something engineers, product managers and other people involved in building apps and online services can learn. It’s something that has to do with focus, with avoiding being a perfectionist and with not wasting time. Here’s what I think are the lesson Periscope’s creators can teach us:

In conclusion, Periscope is a great app, but what is making it a huge success is how they have handled the development phase. If you like Meerkat or other competitor apps, that’s great, but the reason why I didn’t like it, was that I found it overly complex and it just didn’t feel as smooth and simple to use. It lacks focus. On the flip side, Periscope developers seem to have gotten it right.

This is of course just my point of view, and I would love to hear yours! Let me know what you think.

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