As I have learned more about the platform and how to use it, I have tried to share what knowledge I have with others who are just coming onto the Periscope scene. It is just that which I hope to accomplish with this post. I want to give you a few beginner basics for getting started that will help you to understand the mechanics of Periscope and launch you easily into your use of this new social media platform with confidence!
Downloading the free Periscope app Before you can listen to broadcasts or ‘go live’ for the first time yourself, you will need to download the Persicope App. For IOS users, you’ll simply head over to the App Store and search for Persicope. It is owned by Twitter and is free to download. Once you grab the app, you will need to choose a user name and password OR you may sign in using your phone number. Please note that if using your phone number you will then need to manually find those you follow on Twitter. If signing up via Twitter you will automatically be connected to those you follow. Please also keep in mind that at this time you cannot change your user name, so be sure to choose something that you don’t mind being ‘stuck’ with indefinitely.
Setting up your profile Once you have downloaded the app, chosen your user name and password, and have logged in for the first time, you’ll need to fill in your bio. Take a few moments to decide what it is that you plan to broadcast about, and then choose words that will fit within your topic. My topics are usually within the same vein of what I blog about, so I filled out my bio with keywords for homeschooling, mothering, and marriage, as well as autism, and wheat free living. I included my blog url as well. It is not clickable within the bio at this time, but it is visible and folks can find me if they choose to do so. To edit your bio at any time, simply click anywhere within your bio and delete or add as needed. Be sure to also choose a photo for your thumbnail image. People are much more likely to choose to follow you if they can see your face and learn more about you through your bio. Keep in mind that the bio information area has limited space, much like Twitter, so keep it as descriptive but succinct as possible.
Conducting your first broadcast When you decide to go live for the first time, there are a few things that you should know, that I did not know when I first began.
- Title Your Broadcast Within the app you will see four icons across the bottom of your screen: a tv icon, a globe icon, a microphone icon, and a people icon. To broadcast you will choose the microphone icon.This will take you to a black screen where you will see a tab up top which says ‘Broadcast Now’, a red tab at the bottom of your screen which says ‘Start Broadcast’, and text beside your cursor which reads ‘What are you seeing now?’ This third spot is where you want to place the title for your broadcast. Choosing a title will help people to know if they want to watch your broadcast. For example, if you are planning to go live and talk about a homeschool craft, activity, or printable, then you want to be as specific as possible in your title, entitling it 4th of July Preschool Printable Pack – Come find out how to get the FREE Download! or something of the like. This helps viewers to know exactly what to expect when they enter your broadcast and helps you to get your target audience into the room.
- Flipping the camera Any time you start a broadcast on Periscope, you begin with the camera facing out. That is simply the way the app is set up. Only after you have begun the broadcast do you have the ability to flip the camera around to face you. You do this by simply tapping the screen of your phone twice. Then your audience will be able to see your lovely face. Since this is how the app works, it is easy to get a thumbnail that is blurry or black. Viewers are much more attracted to a pretty image (such as your flower garden or an interesting building in your town), a graphic with the title of your broadcast, or something else nice to look at as they scroll through their feed to choose broadcasts they would like to watch. Be sure to leave the camera on the image only a few moments after going live, as viewers seem to prefer to see your face right away, and also make sure you stop speaking as you flip the camera. If you do not, your words will be cut off and viewers will not be able to hear everything you say during that time.
- Selecting your broadcast settings Once you have entered the Broadcast icon, you will see four more icons at the bottom of your broadcast screen: an arrow, a padlock, a bubble with a person inside, and a bird (the Twitter icon). You will want to check each of these to determine whether they are on or off and whether you want to change that. The arrow icon enables your location. If your location is ‘on’, then viewers on IOS will be able to see you on the map under the Global icon, to within a few streets of where you are actually located. When set to ‘off’ your location will not appear on the map. The padlock icon allows you to conduct a private broadcast between you and one or more other persons. This may be useful to you if you are a life coach, business owner, a blogger collaborating with other bloggers on a project, and more. I have not used this option yet, but I’m glad it is available to me if I ever feel the need or desire to broadcast privately. The third ‘person’ icon allows you as the broadcaster to turn the Chat option on or off. In general, it is good to leave this option on. Periscope is built around and users thrive on the live streaming and interactive nature of the app, but of course this choice is up to you. The Twitter icon allows you to share on Twitter when you go live, which means a tweet automatically goes out to tell all of your followers that you are LIVE right now on Periscope. I typically leave this one on as well. Simply press each icon to turn on or off.
Blocking Viewers Just as with any other online platform, you may end up with a ‘troll’ here and there. I’m not sure why, but certain people seem to enjoy going into broadcasts simply to say rude or degrading things in the comments. However, there is an easy way to take care of that if it happens to you during your broadcast OR if you see these kinds of comments when you’re watching someone else’s broadcast, too.
When broadcasting you can easily see any comments that come in if you are looking at your screen. When someone says offensive things or makes otherwise degrading or rude comments, simply click on the bubble which contains their name and comment. You will then see options to Reply, View Profile, Block User, and Cancel. Choose Block User and that person is then blocked from your broadcast immediately as well as from future broadcasts. You do have the option at any time to simply choose Block User again and UN-block that person if you ever decide to do so for any reason. This is also helpful to know if you ever block someone by accident, which has happened to me before.
BONUS TIP: Sometimes viewers will talk amongst themselves during your broadcast. You may find that you would like to comment or ask a question of someone while you’re watching a broadcast. Select the bubble in which the person’s name and comment appears and you will see the same options that I listed above. Choose reply and you will be able to make your comment and the person to whom your speaking will be flagged in your comment. I JUST discovered this tip when looking within the Periscope app to be sure I was giving you correct step-by-step instructions for blocking viewers. I’ve been wondering how folks were doing this…..I’m discovering new capabilities with this app all the time and I love it!
Are you a new Periscope user? Have you have been on for a few weeks? Or perhaps you have been active on the platform since the very beginning! Tell me what it is about this new social media platform that keeps you coming back for more!
Wendy is a lover of learning. She is a homeschool mom to five children, wife to her high school sweetheart, and a Christ-follower. Wendy aims to live life with passion and purpose and helps others to do the same. Connect with Wendy at Purpose Living Wife and on Periscope. Let her encourage you as you utilize Periscope, as you work in the kitchen, while you focus on your marriage, and as you parent and educate your children.