It was developed by Kayvon Beykour and Joe Bernstein in 2014 and launched officially in March 2015. Beykour was inspired while traveling through Istanbul in 2013 when protests took place in Taksim Square. Although being able to receive important information via Twitter, Beykour was unable to access live visual information and hence, developed the idea of a social broadcasting app providing real time videos.
Users have the possibility to follow other particular users and will be notified if the person they're following starts broadcasting. Furthermore they are also able to browse through different channel. Periscope also launched a map where Users can see if people in other parts of the world are broadcasting and join them.
In order to use the app, Periscope requires a smartphone and a twitter account which it will automatically link the videos to its users. As soon as a live stream starts, Periscope provides its users the option to send out a live tweet with a link connecting to the video.
Real time videos are considered to be authentic since post-manipulation is not possible. In addition, Periscope is regarded by many as a game changer in journalism. Photos are powerful, but real time videos have an even stronger impact on the audience. For example, German journalist Paul Ronzheimer accompanied refugees on their way from Greece to Germany using Periscope to demonstrate the long and arduous journey.
Political representatives and institutions have also started using Periscope. Using the app gives them the advantage to determine themselves what content they want to share or not. In the US for example, not only labor secretary Tom Perez has announced the jobs report using the app, but also Ohio Govenor John Kasich streaming a press conference announcing the state budget and Senators John Thune and Jerry Morgan providing information on the federal budget and net neutrality. Periscope might give the political actors a chance to convey a more authentic image and at the same time bypass the press and its gatekeeping functions. Although it offers the possibility of interaction with the audience via responding to comments a politician with many users will likely be overwhelmed with thousands of comments and request appearing during his broadcast. Thus it is simply not possible to interact in an adequate manner.