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Periscope App gives users window to world

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Periscope, owned by Twitter, allows users to live stream footage from anywhere in the world. (Photo courtesy of PERISCOPE)Watch the sunrise in Tokyo. Watch protestors in action in Oakland. Watch Game of Thrones on someone else’s TV. Watch someone feed their cat. Watch anything that you want, live, from the comfort of where ever you happen to be with Periscope.

The Periscope app was only just released in March, and was purchased by Twitter for about $100 million, but has already garnered enough attention that the live streaming app is being used on a global scale to broadcast everything from the mundane to the fabulous.

The app was created by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein after Beykpour’s the former’s travel plans to Istanbul were stymied by the violent protests in Taksim Square. Beykpour wanted to find out if it was safe for him to still travel but was disappointed by the propaganda and worst case scenarios that he was seeing online. He enlisted the help of Joe  Bernstein to create a live-streaming app that lets users broadcast what they are seeing and doing to the world.

Users of the app are able to take live video and stream it, watch their favorite Periscope users under the “People” page and peruse the hundreds of other live streams on the app’s “Global” page. The Periscope app tags broadcasters at a location so that viewers can know what part of the world they are seeing.

“I just started today,” Periscope user Allie Court, 15, said. Periscope located her in Fort Worth, Texas. “I like it because you get to talk to people around the world. It’s cool.”

Court was laying on her bed holding her phone out in front of her as if she were on a FaceTimeing with  a friend. The description for her page had been “Bored. Come chat. Lol”.

Thomas McGarry was not using Periscope because he was bored Sunday evening. He was using it for a public service. McGarry was live streaming the newest Game of Thrones episode to over 100 viewers from his television while he cuddled his dog.

“I’m using this app because it’s interesting to drop in on people and I like the idea and I want to see what Twitter spent its money on,” he said before the show began. Viewers could see palm trees in his West Palm Beach, Florida, backyard through the window behind his TV.

Periscope is not just for the home. It is now being used by cultural paragons like The British Museum to give live tours of the museum to viewers. Madame Tussaud’s new Star Wars exhibit in London was partially unveiled on Periscope and the PGA Tour was broadcast to users with the app.

Of course, there are users of Periscope who exploit the app for far more nefarious activities. Suggestive emojis and tag lines that could have easily been mistaken for pornography titles stand out when scrolling through the app.

But there are many G-rated standouts such as a live stream of the lightning above the skyscrapers in New York, TMZ Live shooting a live feed of their behind the scenes, and an incredible plumber in the London Borough of Lewisham, England singing show tunes for a sizeable audience of 53.

The app has also become a hub for artists, models and entrepreneurs who want to divulge secrets and show off their creative processes. Vine celebrity and aspiring musician Jay Walker broadcasted his studio time in Los Angeles, California with a friend and gave users access to his process of coming up with beats. A licensed hair and makeup artist in Utah broadcast an entire contour and highlighting tutorial to her audience.

Model Resid Con found that he could reach a wider audience if he used Periscope.

“My model friends recommended it to me,” he said. “You can communicate easily, you can meet other models across the world. You can show off.”

Resid is a Syrian model currently living in Toronto. His audience repeatedly asked him to say things in Arabic and to their delight he taught them a greeting.

Although broadcasters and surveyors enjoy the app, there has been kick push back in regards to the amount of data usage broadcasting from the app takes up and how quickly it drains battery life from phones. Periscope has commented on this frequently blogged about phenomenon and aims to fix these issues with the next app update.

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Periscope App gives users window to world