What I Hate about Periscope

9 Features Developers Should Jump on Fast to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Periscope, Twitter’s new social media video app, has exploded. It only launched in March, but it already has over 10 million users who together watch over 350,000 hours of video every day.

Courtesy of iStock/Maximkostenko

Right now, I serve up two and a half hours a week with my #DailyMentor show. I’ve been doing it for one week now, and the feedback has been phenomenal.

There are several reasons I think Periscope is an incredible medium. But it’s not perfect, not by a long shot. The more I use it, the more I find significants flaws. At least for me. But I bet my experience is not unique.

When I was in the CEO’s chair I read dozens of SWOT analyses every month. Most of you know that the first two letters stand for strengths and weaknesses. I’ve already covered Periscope’s strengths. Now it’s time to focus on the weaknesses—and what Periscope can do to remedy them.

Based on my limited experience, here are nine features I would like to see Periscope developers add:

  1. Landscape mode. I mean, really? Who shoots video in portrait mode? This is just broken and needs to be fixed now. I’ve heard it’s in the works. Let’s get it shipped.

  2. Camera default. Periscope starts with the rear-facing camera. I have to immediately double-tap the screen to use the front-facing camera, so people see me. At the very least the default should be user-selectable.

  3. On-screen timer. I would like to know how long I have been broadcasting without having to look at my watch. It should just be on the screen.

  4. More readable fonts. My vision is nearly perfect, but I have difficulty reading the comments unless I am holding the phone two feet from my face. I find especially difficult to read the name’s of commenters. (One workaround: run Periscope on an iPad.)

  5. iPad version. This might actually solve the previous problem. It would also give you more screen real estate to work with.

  6. Preview mode. It would be nice to be able to check my framing, lighting, and background before going live.

  7. Audio levels. I need a simple meter that shows whether my volume is set at the right level. There’s no way to tell now, until it is too late.

  8. Comment control. The comments come in so fast, you can’t keep up. I also don’t need them to fade out. I’d prefer they were in a comment screen where I could scroll up or down. Also, I’d like to be able to ban people after the fact. It’s too hard in the moment.

  9. Stop button. As it is now, you have to swipe down and then click a button to stop. This is not intuitive. Half the time, it swipes the iOS notifications screen. Can’t we just have a simple stop button on the screen?

The other half of the SWOT acronym is made up of opportunities and threats. I’d say the continued opportunities for Periscope’s growth are nothing but good. But there are threats as well. Meerkat already has a significant user base, and Samsung just announced its own streaming service, using YouTube Live. This space is going to get very interesting very fast.

Periscope is amazing. But it will take some hustle and improvements to stay that way.

Question: Have you used Periscope yet? What do you think it’s greatest strengths and weaknesses are? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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