In our digital world of new age inventions and technology, social media has made a mark that says its here to stay. A particularly newer component of social media is a user’s ability to live-stream. There are many popular live-streaming sites, but Periscope is undoubtedlylivestream1 the most popular right now. Personally, I’m not really a live-streamer. Or maybe just not yet. However, the first time I used the Periscope app on a friend’s phone, I could definitely see why it has become so popular. The people that follow your account are notified when you begin a broadcast and can tune in and send you comments or “hearts” to reflect their opinion of your podcast. We played around with it and just started talking about anything we could think of. It was pretty cool, to say the least, but I guess after awhile it seemed kind of purposeless if you didn’t have something valuable to broadcast.

Another very popular new way to stream has been through Facebook’s new streaming component, Facebook Live. I’ve actually never even used Facebook Live. Probably because I’m not a regular Facebook user. I’ve heard it’s a lot like Periscope except since Periscope was purchased by Twitter, that is the social platform linked to the app for users to automatically share videos with their followers. Facebook Live, obviously notifies your Facebook friends when you go Live. A key difference is that there is no limit on how long a user can stream on Periscope, while Facebook Live has a 90-minute broadcast capability.

For a journalist or any company that wants new ways to reach its targets, live-streaming can be beneficial when used properly. Specifically for journalists, unfiltered video streaming is a bonus. There is no censorship involved so journalists can provide their audience with first hand images of live events. Another bonus is the immediacy of live-streaming. Viewers are receiving real news, in real time, delivered directly to their device. As a journalist, you don’t want to miss a beat. Having the flexibility to report live from a mobile device allows the ability to report from anywhere in the world – as long as there is a stable internet connection. Most importantly, Periscope and Facebook Live both provide the feature for direct feedback. An engagement component is useful for audience questions, especially in interview situations.

A few downsides of live-streaming kind of sprout from the positives. Since live-streaming is so immediate and on-the-go, there is the lack of control over live crises that could take place while streaming. No editorial control means, no fast-checking and research can take place either. And goodness, if your internet connection fails?! You’ve lost your stream and those tuning in.

So just like any good thing, you have to take precaution to ensure good results. Exploring the world of new technologies keeps you ahead of the curve and in the know about what works for your business and what you may want to pass up.

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