Up Periscope

By Stuart Fuller


Users of Periscope can now watch the live streaming app while on Twitter.  Previously whenever a Periscope broadcast was underway and notified via Twitter, users would need to tap on the tweet to watch the stream from within the Periscope window.  As of now, live streams will play within the tweet, in a similar way to how Vine videos are displayed, for iOS users, with the functionality being rolled out to Android users in the next few months. Periscope is an incredibly powerful social media tool when used in the right way. 

Launched in March 2015 just a few weeks after being acquired by Twitter for a reputed $100 million, Periscope is an App available for Android and iOS that allows users to “view the world through the eyes of another”.  It has certainly proved popular with over 100 million broadcasts being published since its launch, including the bizarre stream in late 2015 of people trying to navigate a large puddle in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne city centre that saw up to 20,000 people viewing the stream.

The issue for digital rights holders when considering Periscope usage is that they have no control or ability to monitor for infringements.  As Periscope had used URL shorteners, monitoring of keywords within a URL hasn’t possible which makes it almost impossible to monitor/detect and enforce in terms of Social Media Monitoring solutions. The issue of video sharing has been a contentious one for many years on Social media – Twitter’s other video service, Vine, has been subject to scrutiny from Digital Rights holders especially related to the English Premier League where goal clips have been shared within seconds using Vine across Twitter.

The news that Periscope videos will appear within a Twitter user’s timeline will drive both more infringements and more exposure to the infringements.  Previously, a Twitter user would have to follow a link to get to the Periscope stream, often untitled and with a shortened URL which may not appear attractive to users. However, showing the actual stream will immediately allow users to see any infringing material without having to leave Twitter.

Because the streams are imbedded within the Twitter feed, there is still no way of monitoring the content from an IP rights holder.  Twitter’s rules on IP infringement is very clear – they will act on any potential infringements but only when reported to them by the rights holder, meaning material that is clearly infringing intellectual property could remain online for some time before the rights holder acts.