02.06.2016 Up Periscope: The live-streaming app makes a host of changes

The last month has seen a number of notable changes to the world’s biggest live-streaming video app Periscope.

Branded an “overnight sensation” on launch just over a year ago, the Twitter-owned social media platform quickly racked up 10 million users by the end of 2015, and now has 2 million active users a day.

But with competition from other live-streaming apps, including Meerkat and now Facebook Live, it makes sense that Periscope wants to refresh and refine its offering.

 

Curated editorial

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Periscope has appointed an editor-in-chief, former Wired and Medium editor Evan Hansen. According to the job listing, Hansen’s role will be to “build a team of curators, to craft and champion editorial direction and to collaborate on product initiatives to surface the best of Periscope”.

The move should make Periscope’s offering more focused and ensure the most engaging streams are front and centre and easily accessible for audiences.

It will be interesting to see how the service develops and how well the so-called ‘curators’ understand the interests and viewing preferences of users.

 

Permanent saves

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One of Periscope’s most well known features was the fleeting nature of its broadcasts – videos were only made public for 24 hours after the initial broadcast. All that has changed, with permanent saves now available for everyone by default. Likes and comments are also saved along with the video footage.

This will be a useful service for brands that use Periscope, as it will allow them to develop a more complete profile on the platform with all their broadcasts constantly available for users to re-watch, instead of having to save and upload them to a competing platform such as YouTube.

 

Reporting abuse and spam

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Trolling, abuse and spam are some of the biggest complaints users have about their social media experience, and Periscope is no exception.

Now the app has given users the ability to decide whether comments on a live broadcast are abuse or spam with the introduction of a live moderation tool.

The approach will allow the audience of a real-time broadcast to flag messages they deem to be obscene or junk, with the violation presented to other users to vote on. The community’s decision will see abusive users blocked.

Whether or not the move is a success, Periscope deserves praise for at least addressing a serious issue to which other social networks have only paid lip service.

 

All of these changes demonstrate a remarkable level of maturity and foresight for an app that is only just a year old. Periscope could have been forgiven for resting on its laurels after such a stellar start, but instead it has made some sensible and welcome modifications that should improve the overall user experience.

Each of these changes should make Periscope a more attractive platform for both individuals and brands, as well as winning back some of the momentum from the new kid on the block, Facebook Live.