On March 1st Tech Crunch called it with the headline; “Meerkat Is The Livestreaming App Twitter Should Have Built”.
Yesterday, March 26 Twitter listened to that critique by releasing Periscope, an app very similar to Meerkat that lets you live-stream video of your life from your smartphone to anyone in the world. Like Meerkat it connects directly to your Twitter account to tweet out a link and it sends out a notification across the network when you are ready to begin your broadcast and giving your followers the ability to watch live from anywhere. You can see how many people are tuning in, how many people are liking the video, receive comments, and unlike Meerkat, you have the option to save the video.
In true social media form, people took to it quickly, broadcasting everything from videos of themselves eating lunch to streaming video of the explosion of a New York building. Live streaming is an interesting factor in the usually highly curated world of Social Media. It means anything can happen; viewers can influence the outcome, no-one can edit out an unflattering shot, and you no longer have unlimited opportunities to capture the perfect moment.
Given that it was only released a day ago it’s hard to tell if Periscope will gain a foothold and establish itself as a social media necessity. But, its popularity within the first day highlights people’s love of visuals and videos.
Brands could learn a lot from engaging with their customers in this new platform. Encouraging the use of live streaming video in social commerce could give brands a clearer look into their customers lives and the way they use their products.
On the flip side, brands and retailers could utilize live streaming video to build brand authenticity. In terms of social commerce the implications could be very interesting and lucrative. Live-streaming could add an element of authenticity many brands and retailers have a hard time establishing. It’s an opportunity for brands to give their consumers an unedited look into the inner-workings of their companies. In the age of social media, consumers expect more and more from the brands they’re loyal to and authenticity is at the top of the list. Consumers buy from companies they trust and the brands that truly reflect their outlook.
Socially and environmentally conscious brands could stream live videos for a look inside their factories. Start-ups could stream videos of the highly active and entertaining office atmosphere. Beauty and fashion brands could capture unedited videos of their products in use by real customers. And by using the Periscope platform your customers know the videos are truly live and unedited, building credibility, authenticity and ultimately the trust your customers have in you and your brand.