I’ll admit it. When the live streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope were launched earlier this year, I was pretty excited. I downloaded them, tried them both out, watched streams from all round the world and chattered about them to anyone who would listen.

After a while, the shine wore off a little. There was a lot of junk being ‘broadcast’. I became more selective about which livestreams I would watch – only exciting breaking news would tempt me to click on a link. I started turning off notifications. I pondered deleting the apps.

And then the Royal Baby arrived and everything changed. Hands down the best use of Periscope has been by CNN correspondent Max Foster who has been continuously livestreaming over the past view days. Not just a few snippets here and there either. This is hours of raw footage from inside the media cordon at the Lindo Wing hospital. Or over at Buckingham Palace. Or walking the streets of London giving viewers a guided tour of the sights. This man is amazing!

So while the rest of the world was waiting for the hourly 60Β second update on CNN, Periscope viewers chatted with Max, listened to him reading out media emails, watched him check with other reporters about breaking news, and also (a bit strangely) watched him do his live cross to the camera even though we could only hear his side of the conversation. It was really like being there – you were close up to the steps of the Lindo Ward, waiting for the Royal Baby to appear – and he streamed virtually non-stop for hours, popping in and out to give updates to the Periscope audience. The number of concurrent viewers tipped over 1,000 at one point with comments flooding in from all over the world and plenty of Kiwi and Australian viewers amongst them.

Even today, he is relaxed and chatting with the audience about baby names and all the bits and pieces he knows about the royal family, the official protocols and info from his interviews with Prince William and other family members.

This is a great strategy for increasing his reach and audience size and establishing himself firmly as a regular Periscope broadcaster. While some areas are currently off limits to livestreaming (such as sports events where media rights have been sold) it certainly shakes up the broadcasting world while giving viewers real ‘behind-the-scenes’ access from the comfort of their couch.

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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hello Simone,
    I was watching Max Foster, via replay on Periscope & he referenced you & your piece written on him. I was immediately intrigued. We raised our first 2 pre social media (in their early 30’s) & then our last 2 in the throws of social media (both in their 20’s) I was extremely prejudiced about it all. Other than reconnecting with friends & sharing pics on facebook, I was determined to not take 1 further step into that social media land! Until The Royal Baby Watch!:) With little coverage, compared to when George was to arrive, & News of Baltimore dominating coverage here in the US…. I took The Plunge! I have followed 1 Blog about Kate, but realized I had to step up my game, if I wanted any true viable news! So I opened a Twitter acct (still have never tweeted:) & while viewing discussions I heard of Periscope? I had no idea what it was but held Max Foster in great esteem, so once again took the plunge & I Was Hooked!:) As a Writer & Photographer, I continue to be blown away at the new & creative ways that Max is using Periscope & how it appears to be evolving with him! I’ve tried following a few other CNN & other esteemed Anchors, but Max has that something special! It’s like I know I am watching/ experiencing this unique experience & I want to follow it as long as I can before something about it changes. I’ve also appreciated his Scoping, as I’ve found myself up at odd hours with my son in the Hospital. Max was great giving me a shout out (I’m Becca) & it just lifted my spirits:) I think that interaction is what makes Max different. It’s clear that he’s not using it as others are.. Trying to force an interesting situation. He seems to be a good listener! He responds live to what folks are interested in or curious about & then that seems to lead organically to him showing what he thinks people might also like to see or observe. It’s that subtle not about him touch, but rather what can I share with them that they might want to see from their corner of the world! Thanks for writing your Piece on Max & drawing attention to a neat guy creatively exploring this new technology & bringing us along for the ride!

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