Twitter’s Periscope Presents a Few Problems for Professionals
Remember way back when, when live streaming video was the domain of technical specialists — a process so complicated even the world’s largest business couldn’t get it right (twice!)?
Of course, this was way, way back when.
Back into the most distant reaches of history.
You know, about 8 weeks ago.
It was just last month at SXSW that the world was introduced to Meerkat, a new app that made it possible for anyone to instantly live stream video of anything, right from a mobile device. Tapping into the social graph on Twitter, a person could broadcast virtually anything to virtually any audience — without any specialized equipment, technical knowledge, or even much effort beyond simply opening the app and holding up the phone.
Right away the technology showed serious potential value for corporate training and communications teams seeking to expand the way they share events and activities — whether for a conference, a class, a meeting, or just a personal conversation, Meerkat demonstrated that people really wanted a “just being there” experience that could help them take part in the things that were important or interesting to them, and easy access to live streaming video was a means to do just that.
Twitter Improved Social Live Streaming Video — But Didn’t Quite Solve It
Within days of Meerkat’s public debut, news broke that Twitter itself was in the final stages of rolling out it’s own live streaming app, Periscope.
Periscope brings live streaming video to Twitter
Periscope integrates more deeply with the Twitter social graph than does Meerkat (which now no longer has access to many Twitter features), making it even easier for individuals to both broadcast live streaming video via Twitter, as well as to interact with others’ video streams. Periscope even allows users to follow others via for instant Periscope notifications, so they’ll never miss a minute of a broadcast.
Just as importantly, Periscope fixed a significant user experience issue Meerkat hadn’t — by adding the ability to replay a video for up to 24 hours. When a live video on Meerkat ended, users only saw a “STREAM OVER” screen — even viewers just a few minutes late missed everything. By adding replay, Periscope extends the life of a live stream a bit longer and helps make live streaming video via social networks a more worthwhile proposition for more individuals.
For Professionals, Live Streaming with Periscope Leaves 2 Big Questions To Answer
The enthusiasm around video in social channels underscores the power of video to improve the way we share information. And the instant popularity of sharing in our friends’, peers’, and colleagues’ experiences — live via real time video — should spark a few new ideas all across corporate organizations.
An example of a Quarterly Update live-streamed with Panopto
Businesses today are constantly searching for new means to make their internal and external messages more engaging — and live streaming video is fast gaining steam as an easy and achievable means for organizations to achieve that goal. With video, events like town halls and conferences can be shared live with staff instantly with ease, and that external communications like investor relations calls can be streamed publicly from anywhere without requiring a ton of production.
But businesses don’t have the same needs and expectations when it comes to video as most consumers.
Individuals may be happy to treat live streaming video as an in-the-moment, miss-it-and-its-gone novelty, but most organizations won’t be as willing to embrace something so fleeting. For all the effort that goes into hosting a conference or putting on a town hall or classroom training session — not to mention the evergreen value of all the information you’ll share in those events — most businesses will want to find a way to make those streams accessible and useful even long after the recording stops.
And that means that organizations considering using live streaming video to support corporate events and activities have two big questions to consider:
First, how will you make the video useful long-term?
Periscope and Meerkat are making it possible for friends to share a “being there” experience at the click of a button — and people are jumping on the opportunity. But losing the video 24 hours later — or worse, the very moment your broadcast ends — means you can’t leverage that video as an informational or instructional resource later. That quarterly call, training event, or new product launch event that took so much effort to plan and execute simply disappears.
Fortunately, however, the same live streaming video capability that’s seen such rapid adoption on social channels may already be available as part of your corporate video platform. Already today Panopto customers can instantly live broadcast any recording from a Windows PC with a single mouse click — and that webcast can be shared either publicly with thousands (or even tens of thousands), or, can be distributed securely just to a few select individuals.
Perhaps more importantly, with a video CMS platform, every live webcast video can also be automatically recorded and uploaded to a business’s video library, where it can be shared almost instantly even with those individuals who couldn’t make the live broadcast.
And second, how will you search all this video content?
As reviewers have begun to notice, an influx in video means an influx in a type of communications that historically has been near-impossible to search, and Twitter’s Periscope is a prime example of the disconnect. On one hand, text posts shared on Twitter are fully indexed and easy to search (Twitter even boasts comprehensive advanced search features and automatically filters search results by “top results” and “all results”).
Searching Periscope video, however, is limited to the standard metadata of video — if your search term isn’t in the title, a comment, or the producer’s user name, it simply can’t be found. That might not be an issue for all those shared sunsets over the Pacific, but if you’re broadcasting a town hall event, it’s likely that in the future you’ll want to be able to search that video content a bit more completely.
Here too, however, enterprise video platforms are working to offer a solution. Panopto indexes every word spoken or shown on-screen for every video in your library — including the live streaming broadcasts — so even team members who never knew you were holding the event at all can search and find your recordings and fast forward to the relevant moments they need.
Periscope and Meerkat have made live streaming video possible for millions, but as consumer-oriented apps they just don’t offer enough to meet the live streaming needs of professional users. But that doesn’t mean a better option doesn’t exist. For trainers, marketers, HR teams, executives, and all the other professionals already making video a part of your day to day work, today’s modern enterprise video platforms make it simple for any organization to live stream video over the web — and share those recordings on-demand even after the moment has long passed.
Originally published at panopto.com on April 9, 2015.