The missing feature of Periscope.. and how it’s hurting the app.

I was recently in Los Los Angeles for VidCon with a bunch of well known Periscope broadcasters from across the globe and a couple of the team from PeriscopeHQ. We were sat having dinner and throwing around ideas for the future of the app. Within seconds, one topic came up that everyone unanimously agreed on….

The follow and share buttons are too hidden away when watching a broadcast.

When you discover a broadcast you like and you decide you want to follow the broadcaster, you currently have to go through a concoction of swiping across the screen and multiple taps, before finally being able to hit a follow button. Not to mention the process differs between Android and iOS devices. As a broadcaster, you end up giving a long and laborious speech about how people can follow you, ultimately boring your existing followers and detracting you from your content. It’s a similar situation for sharing out a broadcast too. Although it’s not the end of the world for veteran periscope users like me, it’s tough for new users to get their heads around. I personally feel it’s hurting Periscope, but there’s an easy fix…

Left Image: When in a broadcast of someone that you don’t already follow, both the ‘Share’ and ‘Follow’ buttons appear. Right Image: Only the ‘Share’ button will appear if you are watching a broadcast of someone you already follow.

Give viewers the ability to follow and share a broadcast directly from the video screen! The mock up above show’s how on screen buttons could make it infinitely easier for both the viewer and broadcaster. For the viewers, you don’t have to be reminded by the broadcaster to follow or share as there’s a constant visual reminder for you to do so if you wish. For new users, it’s simple and clear what to do, unlike the current system that is confusing and hidden away. For a broadcaster, it’s also much easier and less time consuming to encourage people to Share / Follow. All you’d have to say is something like “Not following me yet? Tap here.” while pointing to the button. Or “tap on the share button in the top left”. More importantly… It’s the same no matter what device you are using, Android or iOS.

It’s so simple, why haven’t the Periscope team done it yet then? Well, as we sat around the table for dinner, we thought the same thing… so many of us simultaneously Tweeted Periscope designer (and well known Emoji lover) Tyler to request the feature. His response:

And I agree with him, but take a look at the mock-up image above. I think it’s fair to say these buttons really don’t take up much on screen real estate at all. Then add to the fact that a system could be put in place so that the follow icon only shows when you enter into a broadcast of someone that you are not yet following. If you then decide to follow that person, the follow button could disappear, leaving only the share button.

Why am I passionate about this? Because I think the fact the follow and share buttons are so hidden away right now is hurting Periscope. There two features are vital for growth, and yet they are difficult to find and use (especially for new users). It’s something so simple yet important. Making it mind-numbingly easy for people to share your content and follow for more will help to increase viewer numbers,increase follower growth and increase app usage.

Agree with me? Retweet this tweet to Periscope HQ asking for the feature to be added… You never know, if enough people show they want it, we may see it in a future version of the app:

Thanks for reading guys! Alex :)