Before I get to this, I want to go on record saying that I absolutely LOVE Periscope. I think it’s one of the most important Apps in years, and it does it in a way that leaves its competitors flat. In fact, last week I recorded a tutorial on how to use this new live streaming App from Twitter (available free from the App store for the iPhone), and the tutorial (above) does two things:

(1) It shows you how easy it is to use the free Periscope App to view broadcasts, and make your own live broadcasts
(2) In this tutorial, I snuck in a full tutorial on lighting a product shoot

I do love Periscope, and it’s one of those things where once you try it once, you’re hooked. However, it’s a 1.0 version of the app and it wouldn’t take much to make this the App of the year, and in that vein, here are a few ideas:

Seven Things Periscope Needs To Fix Now:

(1) You need to be able to shoot horizontal video
Periscope is designed for vertical (portrait mode) shooting, but video on phones is best-suited for horizontal (wide) shooting. YouTube (and all professional video) is designed up the same way â” for a wide horizontal screen, not a tall one. While technically Periscope will let you turn the screen sideways, it also forces the viewers to turn their phone as well, but it keeps the messages coming in sideways, and it cuts them off, and people start yelling at you immediately when you turn your iPhone sideways. They need to fix it so you can shoot either tall or wide, without the viewers having the comments get messed up and the chat text field go away.

(2) They need better, faster, and easier control over bad users
I have seen some absolutely mortifying, disgusting, and downright filthy comments appear on screen while watching a broadcast, particularly if the person broadcasting is female. I’m stunned at some of what I’ve read, and which you can click on their comment, go to their profile and then hit the block button, this takes too much time, and is often impossible to do while trying to record and talk live. My friend Terry White suggested these fixes along those lines:

(a) Let us just triple-tap on a name to block them permanently from your feeds
(b) If you triple-tap someone, it removes all their comments from the rebroadcast

I think these are great ideas, and if Periscope doesn’t do something meaningful to curb this type of very inappropriate comments, it may be its undoing. Also, my buddy Jeff Revell suggested a visible flag of some sort to let viewers know before they click on a stream that it contains “adult” content. Right now, you might click on a stream and then see something you were just not expecting.

(3) Swiping Down to reveal the Stop Broadcast button is a bad idea
I wish I could count the number of times I’ve seen people (myself included) swipe down and instead of stopping the broadcast it brings down their Notifications panel, which covers right over the broadcast. Give us an easy way to stop the broadcast. Make a smaller version of button visible all the time.

(4) Let us choose which camera we want to start broadcasting with
The first thing I usually do when broadcasting is double-tap the screen to switch to the rear-facing camera so I can address the viewers directly. Not everybody will want to do that, which is fine, but when we’re starting a new broadcast, give us a choice of which camera to start with: front-facing or rear facing. While you’re at it â” the double-tap to swap cameras isn’t very responsive â” often times I have to double-tap four or five times before it actually swaps the cameras. How about a button, ya know, right beside that stop broadcast button.

(5) Help us to find a user’s broadcasts
If I find a user on Periscope, I’d love to be able to see a list of all the broadcasts they’ve made in the past 24 hours. Right now, finding them is a bit of the needle in the haystack thing

(6) Give us a way to link to our videos
Once we’ve completed our broadcast, there’s no easy way (from the App) to share a direct link to the rebroadcast. We need an easy way to share our broadcasts and lead people to us on Periscope

(7) Give me the option to see only broadcasts in my language, or just a few languages
I see a lot of broadcasts where the title is written in arabic, or Turkish, or Russian or other languages I can’t read, so I don’t know what the topic is, but it shows up as a featured selection at the top of the TV page. In fact, sometimes two or all three have titles in foreign languages. I might still like to see someone’s morning commute in Paris, or breakfast in Sydney, but I wouldn’t even know that’s a choice unless the titles are in English (luckily a lot of them are). Just give me a choice: show me everything, or hide the broadcasts in languages other than English (or the language I choose in the preferences).

None of those fixes compare with the technological features they’ve already mastered, so addressing these issues (which I’ve heard again and again from users), would go a long way to making Periscope the App of the Year. Just my two cents.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday, and we’ll see you over on Periscope (you can follow me there, I’m [wait for it, wait for it] @scottkelby ;-)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’ll be doing a live Periscope broadcast later today. Hope you’ll stop by and check it out (here’s a link to download the free Periscope app).

 

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.

37 Comments

  1. I agree completely with all your points Scott.

  2. Umm, Scott, today is Tuesday! But in retrospect, I did have a great Monday! :-)

    Periscope does rock, and all of your points would make the app that much better. Also, they need to expand the app to Android and Windows users. There’s a few of us around, ya know.

    –John

  3. You meant “flat” on the second line on top right? LOL Because I am trying to see how they’d be “fat” from looking at Periscope, unless you meant it as in “sitting on their couches eating ice cream out of spite” hahahahahahahahaha

    I just want to be able to only see video from whom I want to see video, and broadcast to whom I want to broadcast to.

    I can’t use periscope actually, because my voice sucks, and there’s no app to fix that! LOL

    Great post.

  4. Sounds like some good points. Even though I’m left out of this periscope-revolution.

  5. I tested periscope for about 2 days and after that I deleted the app. All the things you mentioned are definitely missing and all those things and even lots of more features you get with the uStream app. So, I think periscope is born to die… ;)

  6. and of course the obvious:

    (8) Make it work for android NOW, not soon.

  7. Hey Scott… First, the guitar shoot / instruction was cool! Thanks for that. I’ve been wanting / trying to crack into product photography – this is a great little tut to keep me thinking. Now, Perhaps impractical, but I’d really love an iPad optimized Periscope app too can that be my little mini request to the Periscope team. Having written this, I haven’t tried Periscope yet.

    Finally, does any one know what the difference is between Meerkat and Periscope?

    Thank you!
    :)

  8. From what I know, most of theses are in the works, the easier blocking is mostly already done. The “a little bit hard to find” stop and non selfie start were intentional and are continuing to be evaluated. Landscape and Android are on the way soon.

  9. Great suggestions. I love Periscope too but would like to see some improvements. I would like to see you be able to keep a list of “Greatest Hits”. Your best broadcasts that shows up on your profile so someone could view them later and determine if you are someone they should follow.

  10. Good suggestions. I think it would be good to have some record of which feeds we watch (perhaps lasting 24 hours), as well as the ability to combine two feeds as one so that two people could do a feed together. And of course expand the app to Android – my brother is already ticked that he can’t use it on his Samsung. ;)

  11. Turn off the freaking chat bubbles when viewing. The cover the whole screen

    • You can turn them off yourself, though it’s per-broadcast and not as easy as it should be. Swipe right during a broadcast, scroll down to bottom of viewers list, Hide Chat.

  12. I find it INSANE that there is no option to connect with people you know… As in having an option to connect with Periscope users that are in your phone’s contact list.

    I understand why they don’t integrate with Facebook.. obviously because of competition reasons… but I should atleast be able to connect with Periscope users who are also in my phonebook.

    How the heck is anyone supposed to find anyone on this app?????

  13. I would also like ways to see how many hearts i gave per stream and total for that specific person

  14. You hit many nails on their heads in this one, Scott!

  15. I would like to allow people to view the recorded broadcast if they are accessing it without the app!

  16. I’d like to see all the comments people made on my video in realtime also show up on the recording. It’s hard to record and read comments.

  17. All excellent suggestions and I hope Periscope team is on them.

  18. Is there any way to see the “More Live Viewers” after recording a Periscope video ? I had 68 viewers but can only see 15 of them. The rest are hidden.

  19. Skip ahead in replays in broadcasts. I find the app freezes a LOT, and there’s no way to skip to where you left off.

  20. C’mon and follow me as I attempt to make my way through this life as I start again… From scratch… Trying to relearn how to live.

    Follow me on Periscope at:

    Steam – 1stBeStrong

    Itz a true adventure at times!!

  21. “Broadcast Full” and not able to chat is making me use this app less and less. Not sure what the fix is, but every time I log into a “X is broadcasting now”, and I can’t join in the conversation, I’m quickly loosing interest.

  22. I just published a YouTube video showing my first Periscope broadcast! Thank you for articulating these ideas! I found your this post because I was seeking advice on how to turn off some notifications. I love learning when people are going live but it’s overwhelming when everyone shares or recommends I tune in as well. Any idea how to turn off people sharing recommendations to me?

  23. Is or will there be any way to manually focus or zoom (can do it with normal video) in Periscope? I can’t wait for a horizontal option.

  24. Great article!! Firstly I have all your photoshop books and you have lead me through photo editing brilliantly. Now I am learning how to use this app, very scary as I prefer to be behind the camera and not live. I made my first broadcast 15 minutes ago and I had a question about the recording. I can’t see any of the comments that were coming in during the broadcast. Have I done something wrong and deleted them? Can other people still see the comments when they view the recording?
    Thanks
    Julie
    @gourmetgetaway

  25. How you download the video with all coments and hearts? Please help! My video is save without coments!

  26. Scott- these are so spot on! I did a few broadcasts and literally just stopped because of all the explicit suggestions that I couldn’t manage. Do you know if they’ve addressed any of this?

  27. I’m surprised that almost a year after you wrote this post, Periscope is still having these issues! I just started scoping and totally love it but the issues are making it so hard to do. I also find I have TONS of freezing issues to the point of having to restart a scope. I feel like I have to sit RIGHT next to my router to even do this (and I have perfectly fine internet). I know it’s not just me though as others I am watching have the same thing happen to them. It’s so annoying.

    I think katch.me helps with being able to save the scopes but I wish they didn’t disappear after 24 hours! Not a lot of people can always watch it live and even within 24 hours of it going live. I wish you had the option to have a profile that showed all your scopes.

  28. […] Instead of facing the humiliation I took to Google: “Periscope 101 for dummies” I typed. Scott Kelby came to my rescue and after a 10 minute tutorial I was back in the […]

  29. Periscope won’t allow me to chat back ,it did when I first download

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