What is Periscope and How Should You Use It

Periscope, the live streaming mobile video app that Twitter acquired in February 2015, has been the town’s talk since its official launch on 26 March 2015.

Although Periscope is hotter than a Phoenix sidewalk in July, folks new to the platform may be a bit intimidating. After all, you will be talking to a live audience and at least you want to appear like you know what you are doing.

That’s why they created this guide. Once you’ve worked your way through our guide, you should not only be prepared to hold your first broadcast, but also make it a success.

What is Periscope ?

Simply put, Periscope allows you to “go live” anytime and anywhere, through your mobile device. The app allows you to become your own broadcasting station “on the go,” streaming video and audio to any viewers who are watching your show.

Periscope is an app that actually benefits from its mobile platform integrating alerts and location as well as social media (on Twitter of course), live conversations and reviews. A fully swinged Periscope broadcast is a completely collaborative event:

Once a broadcast is over, others can watch a replay inside Periscope for up to 24 hours, and may even provide input. The broadcast is then deleted from the app.
Nonetheless, don’t be afraid to save each of your broadcasts to your mobile device, and once you have it there, it can be published and shared online just like any other video.

From insider videos to live Q&A sessions and beyond there are many ways you can use Periscope for company. Periscope is also a great tool for showing off your skills, especially if you’re a speaker.

How Do I Use Periscope?

This section walks you through using Periscope by focusing on five areas:

  1. Signing in;
  2. Tabs;
  3. Settings;

Signing In

The first step in using Periscope is to download it to your iOS or Android device. The first time you launch the app, you’ll be asked to sign in:

How Do I Use Periscope

But, if you want to make the most of Periscope’s social aspect quickly, using your Twitter handle is preferred, you can sign in using your Twitter account or you can use your phone number.

If you have more than one Twitter handle, the following ones can be linked to your computer using the “Add Username” feature under Twitter settings:

Twitter handle


There are four primary tabs in the Periscope app. The first tab displays two lists:

  1. A list of people you’re currently watching on Periscope who are “online” (you can just click a listing to access the broadcast); and

2. A list of broadcasts you’ve watched in the past 24 hours. (You can replay any of the on-list broadcasts by clicking one.)


The second tab in the app features two views, both displaying a global list of live public broadcasts you can access.

public broadcast
watching on Periscope

The third tab is your broadcast booth:

broadcast booth

The final tab is where you can look up folks to follow. Note that the number of followers displayed refers to how many Periscope followers a person has, not how many Twitter followers. This is also where you access your profile and other settings:

Twitter followers


As you can see in the screenshot above, in the top right there is a bit of a blank headshot — tap that to access your Periscope profile and your settings:

In terms of functionality and information, this screen is robust:

terms of functionality and information
  • Your Periscope profile was imported when you signed in using Twitter. But you can  still change the details of that profile with a few clicks. Touch edit to access the spot where you want to make a change:
Periscope profile
  • The image, Twitter ID and tagline are all set in your profile (see no. 1 to edit this information).
  • This shows how many hearts you’ve received both during your live broadcasts and during their replays. Viewers give you hearts by touching the screen while watching to show their appreciation for your broadcast.
  • This shows how many people you’re following on Periscope. To see the list, touch the arrow to the right.
  • This shows how many people are following you on Periscope. To see the list, touch the arrow to the right.
  • This shows how many people you’ve blocked on Periscope. When you block someone on Periscope, that person will not be able to follow you or view any of your broadcasts, chats, or hearts within the app. You’ll also be unable to follow or see that person’s broadcasts, chats or hearts. To see the list of those you’ve blocked, touch the arrow to the right.
  • Touching the arrow to the right takes you to the settings screen:
blocked on Periscope
  • The first setting enables you to toggle the notification you get when someone follows you in Periscope on or off. Notifications can also be controlled globally in Periscope’s notification settings on your device.
  • The second setting lets you configure the languages that Periscope will prioritize when showing you public broadcasts:
public broadcasts

The final setting is important and it’s recommended that you always leaved it in the “On” position. This will assure that all of your broadcasts are saved to your mobile device when finished. If this is set to off and you forget to save the broadcast, you’ll lose the video.

  • Touch this arrow to return to the previous screen.

Under the settings slider, there are some other useful features including a way to share Periscope, find help, send feedback, view legal information and finally, log out of the app.