As smartphones get smarter, stronger, and faster, the ability for anyone who owns one to become a real-time photographer or videographer is very real. With instant photo sharing integrated into mobile devices for Facebook and Twitter, apps like Instagram and Snapchat where videos can be shared to followers, and the hundreds of photo effect and video editing apps, visuals across social media and digital airwaves is growing in popularity. A quick scroll through the 10 most recent posts on my Facebook newsfeed shows that 9 out of the 10 posts include either images or video.

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As a business or brand, the importance of grabbing the attention of customers on social media can no longer be achieved by writing a witty post or talking about a sale, it needs to be done visually. We’ve previously discussed ways to utilize Instagram as a marketing tool, which can be incredibly powerful for driving sales or traffic when used properly. However, there is a new player in the “AppWorld” that is looking to make still-image apps like Instagram a thing of the past. Introducing, Periscope.

We’ve all scrolled through our social media accounts and been presented with videos that friends post from the concert or sporting event they attended the night before, right? Aside from watching to see if they had good seats, I find very little interest in watching something I’d see on SportsCenter later that evening, or find on YouTube. What if it was possible to see everything that the person who was filming the event did, at the exact same time? That exact ability is what Periscope provides users with.

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Periscope, currently available on iOS, and coming soon for Android, gives users the ability to broadcast a live-stream from their mobile device. What was once through to be a technology that could only be accessed through desktops from websites like LiveStream and UStream is now available in mobile devices. Periscope seamlessly integrates with your Twitter account, mostly because Twitter purchased the app early in 2015 for a reported 100 million dollars.

Users download the app, and can find broadcasts to tune in to either from within the app, or by following links posted on Twitter. Once in the broadcast, users see exactly what is being seen on the phone of the broadcaster. Users tuning in can send messages to the broadcaster, who in turn, can respond to them in real time.

Periscope has only been around since early this year, but has already been used at major events like SXSW, Apple unveilings, and political rallies. The technology that Periscope provides isn’t just for a major event though, it can be used by just about any business to interact with their customers and earn new ones. A reoccurring broadcast that I found while playing with the app was from a grilled cheese food truck that, every few hours, would broadcast a recipe to one of their sandwiches(think Double Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Infused Bread…woah!).periscope racing

Another interesting type of broadcast was from people who were at their jobs or offices, and took Q&A from people as they showed users around their day. We’re not talking someone sitting at their computer all day though.  The coolest broadcast I found was from staff at the Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Show, where team members showed how performers stay underwater for 30 minutes at a time without air tanks, discussed the design of their underwater theater, and took questions from users.

If your business is on Twitter, it’s time to consider how you may want to integrate Periscope into your digital marketing plans. Over the next few months, Twitter plans to integrate Periscope much more fluidly into their mobile apps. Whether you’re a restaurant, gym, doctor, or small business, customers on social media are demanding visual, and Periscope may be the most innovative social media feature there is!

Have any interesting ways that you would use Periscope? Subscribed to a really awesome broadcast? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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