In March I downloaded the Periscope app to my phone. I’d heard about it from social media gurus and seen celebrities on Twitter posting links to their videos so I wanted to find out what the fuss was about. I’d also heard about Meerkat but I thought I’d give this a go first.
Live streaming isn’t new but these apps have made it far easier for everyday people to broadcast live feeds whenever and wherever they want. Specialist software or expensive subscriptions aren’t required but it does raise issues around copyright and legal liability over the content being beamed potentially to millions of people around the world. But that’s another matter…
For a few weeks, I found Periscope quite addictive but I didn’t actually see anything I really considered tuning in for – it was just something to do to pass the time. I saw people entertaining themselves on a long road-trip in Italy, two girls making “the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich” in New Zealand and a red carpet walkabout from the latest Marvel movie in LA. I just saw it as a visual version of Twitter where you can watch people eat lunch instead of just seeing a photo they just took of it. But, apart from lurking in other people’s kitchens and living rooms, is there actual value?
Increasingly, corporate brands are seeing a value in live broadcasting using these channels and official accounts are popping up like, well, periscopes and meerkats, but are they just jumping on the latest social bandwagon because it’s the flavour of the month? What is the value?
Live streaming can definitely be lucrative if done correctly but the ROI has to be worth the broadcast rather than doing it for the sake of doing it because it’s what everyone’s doing. Lots of ‘doing’s there. It has to be properly executed and part of an overall digital strategy that actually means something and works for the company.
We’ll need to wait a while longer to see qualitative results of campaigns so I’ll reserve my judgement just yet in terms of corporate tools. However, in terms of my personal use, while I was glued to Periscope for the first month, the novelty soon wore off. Although I haven’t ventured into Meerkat territory yet I think I’ll leave it until I hear it’s doing something new or more innovative. In the meantime, I’ll hold off on both viewing the dinner decisions of Dieter in Düsseldorf as well as showing off my own professional culinary skills in London (aka boiling an egg in Hertfordshire).