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Periscope is a new revolution and a threat for those who don’t adapt to change

Since I installed the new Twitter toy Periscope into my iPhone, I’ve been travelling across the word living incredible live experiences – I’ve been in an amazing Calvin Harris gig in Las Vegas, attended a business conference start-up event in Austin, Texas, looking at some of the Ankara’s streets right after a terrorist attack, accompanying somebody walking in a Russian town that I had never heard of before, running the Barcelona Marathon, been invited to a restaurant in 5th avenue in Manhattan, and yesterday watched Messi’s goal in the FC Barcelona stadium against Arsenal, incredibly 7 seconds before it even was broadcast on BT Sports!

Periscope is a live-streaming video app that puts a live-camera into our phones. You can navigate by looking for themes, people or companies, or just going to the map and looking for the red dots (that mean live streaming is happening) in a certain location.

I first heard about the tool from Gerard Pique, the FC Barcelona footballer who was streaming videos with his team mates right after some games. These provided a (very human) insight of what normally happens behind the scenes in a football team. Then I started following all the people I follow in Twitter and now, every time one of those I follow creates a Periscope, I get a notification on my phone. People connect massively to those live-streams and start asking questions. Aleix Espargaro, a GP motorcycle road racer, did a Periscope this week from Qatar before starting his training sessions. All his fans had the chance to write questions into that live-room and he was answering them – verbally. This truly is a disintermediation of the traditional media! 

This way of communicating is going to disrupt media further - I can now ask my own questions to the people I’m interested in - but it also adds new possibilities for companies to communicate with customers. Let’s say that a bank faces a technical problem with its systems and cannot process payments for a while. The CIO could step up in a public, direct and transparent way use Periscope to explain to customers more about the problem, when is going to be solved and any other impacts the problem may be causing for customers. I have done some initial research trying to find banks who have already set up their Periscope channels; all of the following have done so: Santander, Barclays, BBVA, Mediolanum, Metro Bank, Mondo, Bank of England, UBS, CaixaBank. Other major banks who do have presence in Twitter and Facebook, do not so far seem to have established a Periscope channel.

The downside of using Periscope… of course is data leakage. I could navigate right now to any of the HQ’s of the big corporations and wait for the red dot to come on (the symbol that somebody has started streaming a video). If I was being malicious and was lucky I may get some internal insights that I could use for my own benefit. Corporations should start looking at the way in which phones are being used by their employees. If problems arise, tools such as Periscope could start killing the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy within firms.

Periscope is opening a wide range of possibilities for consumers and corporations. At the same time, it brings some threats for all of us if the technology is used in the wrong way. Being a parent of two teenagers I have to be aware of the potential risks of what might appear to be any exciting new technology, and this is a classic example. As you experiment with Periscope, you will begin to understand what these risks are for both people and corporations.

But…be sure not to miss Eddie Izzard’s daily Periscope’s on his 27 marathons in 27 days!


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