Above: I Periscoped the annual Procession of the Saints during the Italian Market Festival last weekend in South Philadelphia.
One of the most innovative elements of Periscope is that your followers can send you text messages which you can see on your phone screen while streaming a live video report.
Unfortunately, this process excludes web viewers who may have spotted your Periscope-linked tweet on their desktops of laptops.
But I discovered a couple of tricks to open up the conversation while covering the Procession of the Saints last weekend in South Philadelphia.
First, set your mobile Twitter app to send you text alerts when somebody addresses you. Then, while streaming you can prompt your web viewers to tweet questions or comments, and you will see them on your screen.
To do this on an iPhone: Go into Settings > Notifications, and scroll down and click on Twitter. Slide the “Allow Notifications” button to the right and elect the “Banners” alert style. That’s it.
You can do the same with the Messages app for friends who know your phone number. Although these alerts will be superimposed on your screen, they will not be visible to stream viewers.
So, it might also make sense to verbalize when you are responding to a tweet or a text, for the benefit of everyone else who is watching.
You can also ask those web followers to retweet you, and you can thank them when that passes on your screen. While you’re at it, ask Periscope followers to swipe left and share your stream with their followers inside the app, and thank them too.
Another takeaway from last weekend was that you will need to allow time for uploads between streams when using Periscope.
For instance, if you want to end one stream, move and start another, you can’t start again until the previous video upload is complete.
Otherwise, you will lose the replay version inside the Periscope app, locking out viewers who might like to see the stream over the next 24 hours, before it is automatically deleted.
I haven’t figured out the ratio between stream length and upload time, but it seemed as if a 15 minute stream took about two or three minutes. The formula will obviously depend upon your connectivity but I have to wonder if image complexity and compression might also be factors.
I also like to keep the replay version online in order to maintain the option of recording it with Quicktime when I get back to my laptop; so that I can save the comments and hearts.
You can also set the Periscope app to keep a copy in your phone’s Camera Roll. Click on your profile and “Settings” to fine the option to “Autosave Broadcasts,” but that version will not display the user engagement.
Finally, I had one strange experience with my screen flashing white several times before one of my streams crashed. The phone felt hot in my hand — perhaps from all the sunlight — and I wondered if that was a factor.
In any case, all copies of that stream were lost; so, you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid crashes before you begin. I’m not sure if it helps, but I have made it a practice to force-quit all other apps before streaming.
If you would like to take a look, here is a four-minute edit from the 17 minutes of footage I streamed on Periscope during the of the Procession of the Saints: