Basic Periscope features

I wrote about user generated live video streaming app Periscope in an earlier post.

Periscope was recently host to a great interview between Semil Shah of the Haystack Fund and Chamath Palihapitiya of Social+Capital. I watched the chat on September 18, less than a day after it was broadcast live on Periscope. Today, I returned to the Periscope app to review some excerpts from the chat, and can no longer access it. Periscope broadcasts can only be viewed live, or within 24 hours of the time of the broadcast.

This is a big constraint. While I understand that Periscope wants to encourage users to view broadcasts live in order to increase engagement, this isn’t always possible. There’s a lot of valuable content being streamed on Periscope that viewers want to access later. And what viewers want, broadcasters are eventually going to have to provide. For example, Semil released a full transcript of the interview on his personal blog following the broadcast. This is because viewers want to revisit certain parts of the broadcast after it takes place. If Periscope doesn’t offer this feature, broadcasters will move to competing user generated live video streaming services that do.

Another constraint I noticed in the video stream was that I couldn’t fast forward or rewind it. I could only pause the stream to take notes. If I already knew what part of the interview I wanted to listen to, I had to wait until that part arrived. And if I wanted to replay a part of the interview that I liked to better understand its message, I had to start the interview all over again.

Archiving videos for future viewing, fast forwarding, and rewinding are basic features that need to be available in Periscope. I’m sure there are others. Periscope’s success so far has been achieved despite not having these basic features, not because the lack of these features improves the user experience. It needs to make them available soon if it hopes to build on its success in the future.