by Mike Sharman (@MikeSharman) Last month I tuned into a Periscope broadcast from Jeremy Loops, strumming a ukulele on a Kommetjie beach. The broadcast was churning out so many hearts — an indication of audience appreciation on the platform — and was so oversubscribed that you couldn’t even comment on the feed, unless you had been one of a handful of early viewers to the stream.

Age of immediacy

The ‘age of immediacy’ has been facilitated by the integration of smartphone tech into our lives. More specifically, our social media lives.

Meerkat popped its head into mainstream media focus at this year’s SxSW Interactive conference as it became the default live-streaming platform for early adopters to broadcast their “tech, drones and rock ‘n roll” experiences from Austin, Texas. Twitter hit back by cutting Meerkat from its social graph and by pushing its own live-streaming app agenda — the recently acquired Periscope, a primary competitor to Meerkat.

Below is an infographic from Salesforce that details the key differentiators between the two apps [click to enlarge and then click again to magnify]:

Meerkat Periscope infographic by Salesforce
Click to enlarge and then click again to magnify.

The more digital-savvy we become, the more we crave human interaction. Live-streaming apps allow us the opportunity to become closer to the non-polished professional-production-quality action of real life.

An exciting development

Live streaming allows brands to take their target market on a journey of their inner-workings — product, personalisation, and people — in a reality show-esque departure from branded content. The interactive manner in which people may tune in and comment in real time, and be a part of the creative process as the content evolves in the palm of your hand, is an exciting development for the marcomms world.

Periscope, in particular, leverages off the Twitter environment and may be used to tweet to your followers when your broadcast is live. The upside of this is that you don’t have to build yet another community from scratch. Even if you don’t have a lot of Periscope followers, you engage with your existing Twitter-follower base.

As with all tactics, live-streaming isn’t for every brand and this is one of those media channels that requires a fair amount of risk when diving in. This is due to the volatility and lack of control associated with the platform.


I use Periscope and I love it. Experiment with your personal account first and plan for ways in which to live-stream your brand second. What are you waiting for? It’s time to join the stream team.


Mike SharmanMike Sharman (@MikeSharman) is co-founder of Retroviral, a digital communications agency specialising in content creation, community engagement and client commerce wins. He understands the platforms to guide brands on how to execute the stories, in order to have a direct impact on sales. Mike contributes the monthly “Tech Speak” column, dedicated to the advancements on the marketing-technology front and addressing the trend of tech vs storytelling, to

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