I recently discovered the Periscope app and wish that I had done so much earlier. Sometimes I get the impression that I am asleep at the wheel and missing the boat on just about every new trend, platform or invention. Hence the reason that Jade Sambrook only started to blog, vlog and podcast years after those became ”a thing”.
What is Periscope?
Periscope is an app for smartphones that was purchased by Twitter and that allows you to broadcast what you are seeing to the world. These broadcasts are commonly referred to in the Periscope community as ‘scopes’.
Other Periscopers – as they are called – can comment on your broadcast and ultimately decide to follow you so that they receive a notification every time you begin a ‘scope’. They can also send you hearts that will appear on your smartphone screen if they like what they are seeing. Now obviously what other Periscopers can do is equally available for you to do. What I mean by this is that if you are not broadcasting, you can be the Periscoper that is commenting, sending hearts and following the broadcasts of other Periscopers. You can find other Periscopers on a map of the world, where a red dot shows current broadcasts.
As you broadcast, you can select to show your precise location – as in the exact street you are broadcasting from – or to only show a general location – as in the city from which you are broadcasting from, without actually showing the exact street. You can also opt for your broadcast to be shared onto your Twitter feed. Furthermore, you can broadcast privately to those followers that you select in your list of followers, as opposed to broadcasting publicly for anybody and all to see. And last but not least, you can choose to limit comments from only those people who you follow.
Once you end your broadcast, the statistics will show you the total number of people who watched your scope as well as the retention rate indicating their average viewing time. Your scopes can be replayed by other Periscopers – and yourself of course – for a period of twenty-four hours. After that they disappear for good, although you can select the option in the settings menu to have the ‘scope’ saved to your smartphone camera roll. That way you can keep it for good and even play around with it in your preferred video editing software. Note however that Periscope video is recorded at a very low resolution, something like 568 x 320.
Personally I like Periscope, although I am not certain how long the lustre of it will last. In other words it might get old rather quickly. One thing I noticed is that if you are a guy like me who is broadcasting in good light with substantive monologue – you do not get many hearts, comments or followers. On the other hand, if you are a female who is broadcasting in total darkness with the lights off while saying absolutely nothing – you will still get a ton of hearts, comments and followers. Something about that just doesn’t seem right! It’s as if all you have to do to get attention on Periscope is to be a female.
I have had success though when I am broadcasting downtown, showing the world my city or particular events that are unfolding. And that is precisely the purpose of Periscope – to show the world what you are seeing and to put the power in the hands of regular people to broadcast what is going on as opposed to everybody having to rely on traditional news media. Then again, if people just broadcast from their living rooms or bedrooms like they seem to be doing, or like the females with the lights off seem to be doing, then it becomes a simple webcam platform indistinguishable from so many others like Chatroulette and Omegle. Again, the purpose of Periscope is to broadcast interesting stuff, and not just half of your face while you sit on your couch, or in a room with the lights off – as seems to be the case with many of the ‘scopes’.
Just like all other social media platforms, Periscope does have a set of community guidelines and I had to learn about these the hard way. Being the die-hard nudist that I am, I did broadcast some nudity on Periscope and as a result my account was deactivated for an entire week as punishment for violating the community guidelines. Interestingly, the Periscope community guidelines do not mention anything about nudity. They do mention however that in order to keep Periscope open and safe, one should not post pornographic content, overtly sexual content, explicitly graphic content or media that is intended to incite violence, illegal or dangerous activities. They go on to elaborate that graphic content includes, but is not limited to, depictions of child abuse, animal abuse or bodily harm. Finally, they reserve the right to allow sensitive content when it is artistic, educational, scientific or newsworthy.
Again, they make no reference to nudity in their community guidelines, although they probably consider it to be explicitly graphic. For Jade Sambrook simple nudity is neither offensive, pornographic, overtly sexual and it definitely isn’t explicitly graphic. In other words, nude is not lewd!
With that being said, my Periscope account was ultimately reactivated, and going forward I will be certain to refrain from showing any nudity – although as mentioned – the Periscope community guidelines do not ”explicitly” prohibit it. I guess that I will just have to agree to disagree with Periscope on the matter, especially if I want to continue to use the service and continue broadcasting what I am seeing to the world.
Speaking of nudity, should it be of interest, I invite you to read my nudist lifestyle blog by clicking here.
In the meantime Periscope is like a new toy. It’s lots of fun right now, although that may not be the case forever and the lustre of it might wear off sooner rather than later. If you havent had a chance, I recommend that you give it a try. You might just see things or learn of places somewhere in the world that you never thought possible. For example, without Periscope I would have never known about, let alone seen images of a city called Cheboksary in Russia.