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How Does Periscope Work – Revealing the Unique Business Model of Live Streaming Apps

4545 Views | 1 min | Published On: July 1, 2020 Last Updated: July 1, 2020
Periscope Business Model

How Does Periscope Work? What is Periscope Business Model? Let’s Find Out:

As the name rightly conveys, Periscope is an application that allows you to uncover a whole new perspective to the world. It is a live video streaming application developed by Twitter through which you can go live from your mobile device and stream videos from anywhere around the world. 

Periscope originated from an idea that people across the world can connect more authentically by introducing the concept of live video streaming. This indeed, proved to be an awarding thought as today, there are over 9.3 million live streams monthly on Periscope. 

If you are planning to make a video-streaming app like Periscope – you must be interested in knowing its success story, how it works, what features made it a huge hit among users and how the app brings money to the table. 

Without knowing the answers to all these questions – it would be very difficult for you to replicate its success. So, let’s dive in and find everything!

Periscope Stats and Facts: Funding and Major Milestones

  • Creators: Kayvon Beykpour, Joe Bernstein
  • Launched in: 2015
  • Parent company: Twitter
  • Website:
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
  • Top 3 countries where Periscope is live: U.S.A., Turkey and Brazil
  • Supported languages: Available in 25 languages
Periscope Success Timeline

The Story Behind the Making of Periscope

The idea of Periscope was conceived in 2013 by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein during the times of protests in Taksim Square, Istanbul. Kayvon Beykpour approached Twitter to analyze the ground situation of the protest but he soon realized that he could not actually see the events unfolding.

Having the idea of live streaming in mind, they established the company in February 2014, naming it Bounty. This name, however, was later changed to Periscope. The same was acquired by Twitter even before its official launch in January 2015, after $1.5 million in startup funding. This acquisition was officially announced after the competing video streaming app, Meerkat, was launched in March and gained tremendous popularity overnight at the South by Southwest Festival.

Also Read: What’s the Secret behind Disney’s New Streaming App Hitting 15.5M Downloads?

How Does Periscope Work - Insight into Periscope Business Model

To get started with the app, you have to sign up with Periscope, which can be done in two ways.

Either you can sign up via Twitter or you can use your Mobile Number. However, the former method is much more preferable as it helps you gain more audience by providing you an option to push a notification to Twitter every time you scope.

Once a user completes the app-on-boarding process – he/she can:

1. Watch a broadcast

By tapping on the globe icon available, a user can watch the live broadcasts of the people who are broadcasting at that moment across the world. If a user likes the broadcast, he/she can express the same by tapping on the screen and sending a ‘heart’, which is just like liking a post on Instagram. You can also show your engagement in the broadcast by commenting on the same in real time.

2. Create a broadcast

Whenever you feel like broadcasting, you can tap on the camera icon in the bottom center of the app. To start, you have to give a title to your scope and manage your privacy and location settings. You also get to decide whether you want to tweet your live stream or not.

3. Follow Friends and Family

“Following” functionality in Periscope is much the same as in Instagram or Facebook. To enhance your engagement in this app, you can follow the right people and have them follow you back. You can then comment on their broadcasts and the same will be appearing in your Watch Tab for 24 hours.

With 350,000 hours of video streamed daily, Periscope is definitely growing its roots in the social media market. No doubt that the success story of Periscope intrigues many budding entrepreneurs. Let us get more understanding of How Does Periscope Work by going through the Business Model Canvas of Periscope –

How Does Periscope Works
  • Periscope revolves around the motto – “Make it Live, Make it Lively”, which signifies that the application stresses on live video streaming for entertainment and informative purposes. The basic functionality of Periscope is allowing the users to live stream videos from anywhere around the world through their phones or tablets.
  • It is expected of a social media application to be extremely engaging, and Periscope provides you just the same. Along with watching the video streams, you can engage with the broadcasters in real time by sending them ‘hearts’ and through the comment and chat functionalities.
  • This application’s biggest value proposition lies in the fact that it provides an easy to use, yet interactive platform for its users to connect with each other through live streaming. These streams can also be directly shared over their Twitter profiles. With people watching more than 40 years-worth of live video every day, we can say that this platform is gaining popularity with each passing day.
  • Periscope is available for use on both Android and iOS platforms and had over a million users ten days after the launch, even when it was only available on iOS.
  • Once you finish broadcasting your scope, you can also save the video stream to your camera roll. Hence, even when your stream expires, you can still maintain its record.
  • Using this application, you can also view live streams by other users. Hence, it becomes very useful if you have to view the live situation of any popular event.
  • The map view allows you to scout out various videos that are being broadcast in various regions of the world. You can search for videos by location or you can also find broadcasts of any particular event occurring at a location using this feature.
  • Once the video is broadcasted on Periscope, it is automatically saved and the same can be easily replayed. There is a time limit for replaying, that is until 24 hours after the video is initially broadcasted. After 24 hours, the video is removed, but you do get the option to save the same to your phone.

Now that we know all about How Does Periscope Work – let us find all about the app’s monetization strategies to see How Does Periscope Make Money.

How Periscope Makes Money: Revenue Model

Periscope app has 2 major revenue sources –

1. Advertisements and Sponsored Scopes

Much like Facebook, Periscope’s core motive is to gain popularity from their application and to attract more audience on the Twitter platform. Although, through advertisements and sponsored scopes, Periscope is contributing toward boosting Twitter’s revenue.

Pre-roll advertisements are a great way for Periscope and Twitter to monetize the live stream content of entertainers and content creators. Sponsored live streams and these ads help to reach the audience at the right moment and prove beneficial for both Periscope and content creators. This initiative attracted many advertisers and hence Periscope gained a new audience.

2. Super hearts

Periscope launched an additional feature called ‘Super Hearts’ which can be sent by the viewers to the live broadcasters that they like. A coin package has to be purchased by the viewers to be able to send these Super Hearts, and the same, priced between $0.99 and $100, is available for purchase both on App Store (iPhone) and Google Play Store (Android). Also, these Super Hearts can be sent only using the Periscope app (iOS and Android), not through Twitter app or

Broadcasters can also apply for Periscope’s ‘Super Broadcaster Program’, and the ones approved can exchange Super Hearts collected in their star balance for a cash payout. A minimum star balance of 185,000 (worth $175) is required for a broadcaster to be eligible for a cash payout.

Also Read: What Is the Cost of Mobile App Development?

Potential Challenges For Live Streaming Apps like Periscope

Though it provides various advantages, the privacy issues associated with such live streaming applications can affect vulnerable people negatively. Many alarming instances have been reported concerning the Periscope app, for example, a woman streamed her suicide, students live stream in classroom asking viewers to challenge them for offensive tasks, and there have been many complaints of people being sexually harassed on the app.

Hence, while developing an application like Periscope, preventive measures should be taken while keeping these challenges in mind. As there are two sides of the coin, any technology, if used cautiously and for advantageous reasons, can prove to be useful. Security and privacy options must be kept in mind while investing in any live streaming application.

What Can We Learn From the Creators of Periscope?

Here are a few lessons that we can learn from the success story of Periscope – 

1. It is Crucial to Get the Core Functionality Right

It is of utmost importance to study and understand the core functionality of your business and prioritize the same till the time you are sure that it is completely flawless. If we take a look at Periscope, their core functionality is live streaming. Though, they can add many other features to the platform like landscape mode and desktop/web version of the application, but the features that they have already implemented are flawless. Even after the fact that the app does not do a lot, it is highly addictive like Twitter because it is interactive, easy to use, smooth, and perfect at what it does!

2. Do Not Keep Waiting for Everything to be Perfect

Expecting perfection in all the features of your application at the start is unrealistic and will also delay the launch of the same. Providing adequate resources and features so that the users can enjoy the core functionality of your application is enough for it to gain popularity on its uniqueness. For example, when you start using Periscope, it soon becomes obvious that the app is all about live video streaming. Adding many features right at the beginning can confuse the audience about what the application is mainly about.

3. Develop a Solid and Stable Foundation for Your App

In the application world, programmers are always thinking about optimizing the app and adding new functionalities. To achieve this, it is important that the development of your software has a solid foundation that can undergo changes without getting crashed in the process. Periscope seems to get this as it has the flexibility required with an easy design. This application is very smooth and rarely ever crashes for its users. There is always a scope of additional features, but what Periscope is offering on the table is enough to make the people want to use it. 

Wrapping Up

“Be the best at your basics”

So, that was all about how does periscope work, what is its business model and  How does it make money. It is a great live streaming application and what makes it stand out is the fact that it is perfect at what it does. Unlike its competitive applications like Meerkat, it has a very simple and yet interactive interface, making it extremely easy for the users to implement. The success story of Periscope is an example that if an application is the best at its basic functionality, it will gain popularity among people and hit profit.

If you are inspired by Periscope and wish to invest your time, money, and efforts into a similar business, contact us to get help for creating the next big application in the market!

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