10 Tips for Getting Started on Periscope
2016 has been called the year of live video, with social platforms new and old providing users with tools to go live. Twitter’s contribution to live streaming is the much talked about Periscope. Going live can be a great addition to your content toolbox, providing viewers with a unique perspective that can be difficult to capture through other mediums. Before you start broadcasting though, it is important to take note of the platform’s functions and features. It’s time to tackle live streaming on Periscope like a pro with these 10 tips.
#1 Broadcast Description
Before you start a broadcast, be sure to tell your viewers what they are seeing. Add a description by typing in the text box that appears before hitting “Start Broadcast.” Descriptions will appear with the broadcast thumbnail and in the notification followers receive when you go live. Using keywords and hashtags will help viewers find your broadcast in Periscope’s native search as well as in Twitter conversations if you choose to stream to the platform (more on that in a minute). You may also decide to share your location by tapping the navigation icon on the left side of the broadcast tool bar.
#2 Send to Twitter
If your Periscope profile is linked to your Twitter account, you can send your broadcast to your Twitter stream, where followers will be able to watch you without leaving Twitter. To use this feature, you have two options. The first is to enable the Twitter stream from within Periscope by tapping the Twitter icon on the broadcast tool bar before starting the broadcast. Doing so will produce a Tweet in your stream showing the live video. The Tweet will remain in your feed even after the broadcast stops. You may find that the Twitter icon is already selected when you open the app. If so, only tap the icon if you decide to broadcast only on Periscope. The second option is to start your broadcast from within Twitter. To do this, open a new Tweet and select the Periscope “Live” icon from the tool bar. You will be taken to the Periscope app. If you are starting out and have not already downloaded the app, you will be prompted to do so. Once in the app, follow the streaming process as you normally would.
#3 Flip Camera View
Sometimes you will be sharing an event or scene in front of you, but you may also decide to broadcast yourself. To flip the camera to selfie mode, you can either swipe down from the top of the screen once the broadcast starts and tap the camera icon, or you double tap the center of your screen during the broadcast. Both options require you to start the broadcast before flipping the camera so be sure to be ready to flip the screen once you go live.
Want to bring your audience a little closer to the action? If you can’t physically get closer, you can pinch and zoom on your screen during your broadcast. This function works in the same way that your camera’s zoom functions outside of the app.
#5 Hearts & Chat
One of the great features of Periscope is the ability for the audience to provide feedback. During your broadcast you may see hearts float up from the bottom of your screen, indicating that one or more of your viewers likes what they see. If you are viewing a broadcast and want to send the broadcaster hearts, tap anywhere on your screen. The more you tap, the more hearts you will send. Viewers can also send chats to the broadcaster with comments or questions. Chats will appear on the lower left edge of the screen and move up as more comments are added. The broadcaster does not have the ability to response in a chat, but can answer questions or respond to comments on camera to encourage audience engagement. As the broadcaster you also have control of moderating chats and selecting who is able to send you chats. By tapping the profile icon (next to the Twitter icon) in the broadcast tool bar prior to starting the broadcast, you can limit the ability to send chats to those users that you follow. During your broadcast you can moderate comments by flagging inappropriate comments. If you flag something as spam or abusive, the comment will be removed from the screen and you will no longer see comments from that user for the remainder of the broadcast. The comment will also be sent to a few random users to determine if the comment is spam or abuse. If users determine the comment is abuse, the poster will be notified that their chatting capabilities have been suspended temporarily. If another comment from the same user is flagged as abuse, they will lose chatting capabilities for the duration of the broadcast. Periscope may occasionally display chats for you to moderate during broadcasts that you are viewing. Moderation settings can be managed in your profile settings. You can also choose to hide chat by accessing the advanced broadcast controls. To do this, tap and hold your screen to bring up the menu and select hide chat.
#6 Private Broadcast
Maybe you aren’t ready to go live in front of everyone or only want to share broadcast with a select group. Private broadcasts allow you to select specific people to be notified that you are live. Those people will be able to view the stream, chat and send hearts. Private broadcast invites can only be sent to mutual followers (i.e. you follow them and they follow you back). Private broadcasts can also be used to practice for a public broadcast. Invite friends or coworkers to watch you practice and provide feedback so you are ready when you go live for a public broadcast. This is also a good time to practice you transitions in and out and flipping your camera view. To create a private broadcast, tap the lock icon on the broadcast tool bar prior to starting the broadcast and select the users you would like to invite from the list displayed.
Great for highlighting points on screen or entertaining viewers with doodles, Periscope’s sketch feature gives broadcasters another tool to enhance their live stream. Sketches appear on the screen for approximately 5 seconds before fading. To sketch, tap and hold the screen to access advanced controls and tap the sketch icon. To change the color of your sketches, select a new color from the tool bar at the bottom of the screen. If the red, blue, and green color options do not fit your broadcast needs, use the eyedropper icon to select a color from within your broadcast. Once you are done doodling, select “Done” to return to the regular broadcast controls.
#8 Ending the Broadcast
Now that you’ve entertained, informed, and delighted your audience, it’s time to end your broadcast. To end the broadcast, swipe down at the top of your screen and tap “Stop Broadcast.” For some phones the swipe down motion brings up the phone’s notification menu so be sure to make note of where you must swipe on your phone in your practice broadcasts.
Once you end the broadcast, Periscope provides you with your broadcast analytics, including viewers, a viewership timeline, and comments received. If there are replay viewers, these will be broken out separately from your live viewers.
After a broadcast is ended, you are given the option to save the broadcast to your device’s camera roll. Periscope also now saves broadcasts for longer than 24 hours by default, allowing viewers to revisit the stream on your profile or in their Twitter stream until you remove it. If you would like your broadcast to expire after 24 hours you can adjust the default in your profile settings.
Now that you know the tips and tricks of Periscope, you’ll need to decide what your broadcasts will look like. Will you provide behind the scenes access? Have a Q&A session? Maybe you’ll reveal a new product for your fans. Let us know what you decide to showcase, maybe we’ll tune in.