New App Obsession: Periscope

I’m not usually late to the party with apps. I’d suggested I’m even an early adopter. I was quick to the Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin’ parties –  I just sometimes don’t understand them. Take Snapchat for example. I used to kind of get it, even if I didn’t really use it. Then they did a major update and now I’m lost again – it sits on my phone, untouched. It was even on my front page until recently when the app icon was replaced…. by Periscope.

Periscope has been brought to us my the makers of Twitter. It’s a good-looking, fairly bugless and truly addictive app. Essentially it turns the phone of the user into a live, one way, webcam. A flick through the world map shows pins in any location where someone is ‘broadcasting’ and allows anyone who has the app to watch, and interact via message and ‘hearts’ (you can tap the screen to show the broadcaster some love). You can of course also broadcast yourself. So far the highlights (amongst many many); I’ve been walking through Hollywood, watched the sunrise in Honolulu, ridden an amazing rollercoaster and watched people dance at Ocean Beach in Ibiza. I’ve chatted to people in Texas and San Francisco and made friends that I now follow on Twitter.

This app is amazing. It gives you access to things you might never see, and reminds you how big the world is whilst at the same time making it feel so much smaller and accessible. You can choose to follow the users you like, and when they broadcast you have the option to receive notifications telling you they’re Live. It also sends a tweet to your Twitter feed to let your followers there know when you’re filming.

I’ve made a few Periscopes myself, a couple whilst on holiday recently and a couple going around Borough Market in London, and it’s really fun. People asking you questions in real-time and knowing that you’re sharing a little bit of your life to people all over the world.

Obviously there’s scope for abuse on this platform. You don’t know whether you might log onto something X Rated by mistake, or gain pervy followers, and I can’t tell you how this is being policed. You never know if someone might decide to use the platform to glamourise a crime or for political means. But at the moment it’s great and I’ve never come across anything like that. There’s not too many users at any one time, and I’ll continue to use it to watch things like the Paris Disneyland fireworks, pool parties in Las Vegas and chat to people who live in cultural backgrounds that I know nothing about. It’s also doing wonders for my geography knowledge 😀

At the moment you can download it on iPhone and Android – and I know you can watch on web somehow because when I was broadcasting I had a few web viewers, but I have no clue how you do that! But if you’re nosy, and interested in other people, you want to find out about the lives of others and what’s out there in this big wonderful world, then Periscope might just be for you!

If you use Periscope or you think you might in the future, please feel free to add me @groggits – you never know when I might broadcast!

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