I think I may be the only person getting excited about this, but in case you hadn’t heard, Periscope is now allowing users to doodle over their live streams. Officially it’s called “sketching” and is available to iOS users, after a pilot was launched just a month ago.
The live stream app, owned by Twitter, saw more than 200 million people use its product in its first year. Combined with the fact that Facebook is pushing their Facebook Live feature, many digital marketers have a keen interest in this area and how it can benefit brands and businesses.
The new update has a Snapchat feel to it. Actually, it has a Microsoft Paint feel to it. There’s a choice of three colours to draw thin, simple lines, which then disappear after a matter of seconds. Easy as that.
How does this update affect brands though? What difference does doodling make to those who live stream to customers? What can be done that wasn’t possible before?
Firstly, and probably the most obvious opportunity, is the ability to highlight sections of the screen. Sometimes during livestreams there can be lots of movement and activity, and it can therefore be difficult to follow the intended point of focus. Pointing to or circling sections can definitely help viewers. This may be particularly useful for broadcasters and reporters, and when footage is being filmed from a distance.
Secondly, there may be circumstances when livestreaming is taking place in an extremely quiet environment, or where talking is not allowed. Sketching will allow communication to still take place with an audience by writing messages on screen, asking for responses and keeping a two-way conversation going.
Thirdly, and this combines the two above points, this new feature could come in handy at events, and specifically when keynote speakers are sharing their wisdom. Many event organisers have tried but struggled to use Periscope effectively. Doodling can now be used to highlight parts of a slide, effectively using it as a pointer. Throw in some online audience Q&A, and all of a sudden Periscoping at events can become far more interactive.
Finally, and of course this depends on your brand tone and objectives, live streams can look and feel a lot more fun. A simple doodle can add some much needed personality, which marketers are often being asked for!
So there you have it – fours ways that “sketching” can be used by your company. I might not be the only person excited about this, I think Facebook are excited too and will add this to Facebook Live shortly. Keep your eyes peeled.