Periscope brings to mind a scene from the 1976 film Logan’s Run, set in the year 2274 when residents of an idyllic, utopian, domed city believe that as each person turns 30 years of age they must meet their fate and be reincarnated for another rapturous lifecycle. Law enforcement officer Logan (Michael York) goes undercover in search of the truth and enlists Jessica (Jenny Agutter) to assist in his insurrection.
The particular scene to which I am referring is Logan changing the channels, as it were, on what looks like a life-size cabinet. There is no door and as he clicks through on a remote control-like device, different people pop in and out of the doorway. When he sees someone he likes in the circuit, he “selects” that person and the individual steps out into his living room in real time— a 1976 film script’s foreshadowing of today’s smartphone.
Enter Periscope on your smartphone. As you roam the Earth searching for an interesting title or place to stop, you become a voyeur, a virtual fly on the wall with the option to interact via chat. You are transported to another time zone, country and climate all at once. Listen to stories, advice, jokes or view celebrities in their personal abodes. The possibilities are endless. Periscope will change the business of the Internet and television, and enhance or replace search engine optimization.
As it stands now, there are only hundreds to thousands of people using Periscope at any given time. Panning the global interface, it can easily be said that areas with the best Internet access have the most users. That’s where this app has its advantage. It may be used anywhere; Wi-Fi is not a necessity for the video quality to be very good, albeit Periscope will deplete your cell battery and available data if not on a Wi-Fi connection. Remember, this is live, real time, worldwide streaming anywhere you are. To say, “It not only works, but works well,” is an understatement.
The business implications are vast. This will quickly become the new reality television because it is reality and commercial free. Have you ever wanted your own television talk show, but were passed over for the position in favor of Jimmy Fallon? Periscope is an opportunity to build an audience interested in your specific topic or niche market. Create a theme and broadcast yourself to the world. Talk about what interests you most and people will follow and watch. During your ‘Scope,’ viewers will interact via chat from all over the world. Use the opportunity to acknowledge as many people as you can. They will begin to feel a kinship, thereby creating a loyal viewer base— your worldwide brand created in a matter of minutes.
Periscope affords instantaneous satisfaction for your clients and followers by making an immediate and direct connection with you and your brand. Show the behind-the-scenes of how your company operates and what sets it apart from the competition. This is true storytelling with no editing. Beat your competition to Periscope. Be the first in your category to use this new medium.
My own experience on Periscope has been surreal. As an expert in menswear for 30 years with brick and mortar stores along New York City’s premier Madison and Fifth Avenues, I know the value of interpersonal client relationships, but the impact of this new application is astounding. To fully understand the “scope” of this application in both the literal and figurative senses, I tested the app by broadcasting three different types of shows under my Twitter account and brand @SUIT_CAFE. SuitCafe.com is an online men’s clothing company specializing in tailored suits. With that said, I ‘Scoped’ about men’s suits and the brand. I showed how the clothing is made and gave tips and advice on how men should dress for work, job interviews, and social events.
For the second show, I launched a different format— a question and answer on business topics. Questions began streaming in from all over the world. “How do I start my own business?” “How do I develop a successful marketing campaign? “How do I set up online credit card processing?” It is fascinating to chat with people in unison from around the globe and who share similar interests.
But these two shows led me to the third on Periscope and really crystalized what is sure to emerge in retail and branding. In addition to consulting, I sell a product. So, I decided to test the application in the selling of suits from my collection— use Periscope as my own personal QVC!
Periscope drives traffic to a website, YouTube channel, Instagram and all things that allow ‘hosts’ to showcase their brand. Again, the application is smartphone based, so viewers have immediate access to all associated social media as a broadcast or ‘Scope’ is live streaming. It’s easy for a host to engage viewers— “Take a look at my Instagram now,” or “Visit my website now for a special deal during this broadcast.” It works. The impact is astounding.
I imagine updates in the not-so-distant future that will enhance Periscope by having third party apps running on top. These could include and allow for tapping on a phone screen to buy a product as it is featured live during a broadcast, signing up for a program or class on a particular topic and reporting news as it happens without delay. Moreover, future enhancements will likely include the ability to search live broadcasts in real time by topic of interest. The scope of possibilities is endless.
This is going to be big.
Written by Philip Pravda, Founder & CEO