Periscopes Influence on US Politics

Hillary Clinton Periscope

We see the dawn of a new form of social media via live broadcasting. We examine what Periscopes Influence on US Politics will be on the campaign trail.

2015 US Presidential Campaign begins

We are now in June 2015 and we are currently in the process of experiencing a couple of ground breaking things that could potentially change the way of the world as we know it.

Firstly, we are witnessing an epic United States Presidential Campaign heating up and about to turn into a cracking political saga for the ages especially when we see take a look at the candidates.

From the Democrats point of view former US Secretary General Hillary Clinton is a shoe in with approximately 66% of the vote in her favour to lead the Democrats to the next election.

On the Republican side however, the race to decide who will lead the party to the next election is a great deal tighter with a number of hopefuls including Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, US Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky plus a number of other Republican hopefuls including billionaire entrepreneur Donald Trump.

So basically its fair to say the pre-game has kicked off and whilst the US Presidential Election will not be decided on for another 2 years we will see a long running process involved in the lead up to choosing the 45th President of the United States of America.

News coverage will be at an all time high throughout the campaign trail and stories will constantly fill our lives with the ins and outs of every angle possible thought of in relation to every aspect of the candidates, their policies, what they stand for, what they are doing and even what goes on in their personal lives.

Some of the news stories will be interesting and others farcically irrelevant – but what will be of interest is how each candidate will take to using the various forms of media and marketing tactics to promote their image, what they stand for and lobby for votes in the upcoming US Presidential Election.

Social Media Now the Norm for Political Campaigning

Enter the traditional mediums such as television, radio and newspaper articles which has been of great use to politicians for many political campaigns come and gone. Certainly, these marketing mediums will be once again used in the upcoming US Presidential Election to a great degree however with the emergence of a new form of communication via the internet we will most certainly see the use of social media becoming widely used by all serious Presidential candidates.

As you all most probably know the powerhouses of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have only lived a short yet powerful and potent life having come of age in or around 2007. Whilst we saw Barack Obama dabble with a bit of social media in the 2008 US Presidential Campaign, it really wasn’t until the 2012 campaign where we saw for the first time social media used as a powerful weapon in the race to the White House and with astounding results.

In 2008 social media was quickly gaining traction but in 2012 it was evident that social media was here to stay and was a part of the average persons life. Now in 2015 it is no longer a question of whether social media should be used to promote a particular candidates but how much social media can be used to drive the various political message home to the millions of people who engage daily on their various social media platforms.

Of course we have seen the big 3 social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube be used as the primary platforms for politicians all over the world use to gain political advantage. But now 3 years on from the impressive social media campaign run by Obama in the 2012 US Presidential Campaign we have seen the big 3 become significantly mature in their public reach. However, what we need to now consider in 2015 is what other social media platforms are gaining significant traction and can be used as a powerful political campaign weapon to promote political campaigns.

Well we want to take aim at the new live broadcast streaming app called Periscope.

What is Periscope?

As we have discussed many times on our website – Periscope was relaunched by Twitter in March 2015 and it is a mobile app which simply allows people to broadcast live streaming video to the world at large.

Periscopes biggest competitor is a very similar live stream broadcasting app called Meerkat which was gaining massive traction and user signups, so much so that Twitter sought to buy Periscope for a cool $100 million dollars and relaunch it to massive reception and looking like it will be the go to app for live broadcast streaming and eventually blowing its competitor Meerkat out of the water.

Whilst we have seen Periscope used for a variety of interests and purposes we have noticed that it has been grabbed with both political hands to maximize exposure of candidates who have recently kicked off their run for the US Presidential Campaign.

For this reason we feel that it is important to analyse and even speculate on the effects that Periscope will have in the political arena.

Some Quick Early Announce Periscope Metrics

We noticed that Periscope CEO Keyvon Beykpour came out at the recent Code Conference held in Southern California and gave us an early insight into some of the metrics that Periscope has already produced within its short life, some of these metrics include:

  • 1 million signups in the first 10 days;
  • 380 years of Periscope watched within the first 8 weeks;
  • This equates to 6.7 years of live streaming video being watched every day;
  • In late May 2015, that metric had risen to 10 years of live streaming video being watched daily & since then has most certainly increased.

Keeping in mind that YouTube has been around for approximately 10 years and now commands over 100 years of recorded video watched on a daily basis. This shows that in such a short period of time Periscope is gaining unforeseen traction and usage by social media goers.

So I think it is fair to say that Periscope is quickly proving itself as a social media platform which is here to stay and is potentially going to become a powerful weapon in promoting politics, business, brands, personalities and other interests which can benefit from social exposure.

But for the purpose of this article we are interested in how Periscope will be used on the political campaign trail.

Using Periscope on the Campaign Trail

We have seen Presidential hopefuls take to using Periscope in the early stages of the campaign trail. Predominatly speaking the use of Periscope thus far has been limited to the live broadcasting of public events and speeches.

Rand Paul and Periscope

Rand Paul has been using Periscope quite a bit to…….

Hillary Clinton and Periscope

We saw Hillary Clinton use Periscope at her huge public turnout at Roosevelt Island in New York which was probably the first time we have seen Periscope used at such a large and important political level. The former US Secretary General had one of her avid Democrat supporters, Olympian Michelle Kwan, take hold of the controls and use the Periscope app to live stream her entire public speech with a great reception.

Hillary Clinton gave a predictable speech in regards to wanting to build a stronger middle class, stronger economy and stronger national security but what was not expected or as predictable was her use of Periscope to kick off her run to taking control of the White House.

Donald Trump and Periscope

Following this, some days later we saw the at times controversial billionaire entrepreneur, Donald Trump, open up his own political campaign by announcing at Trump Towers in New York that he will be running as a Presidential Candidate for the Republican Party.

The entire event was live stream broadcast on Periscope which open with his daughter, Ivanka Trump, introducing her father. We then saw live on Periscope Mr Trump eventually appear and come down the escalators in the plush yet crowded foyer of his hotel to take the stage and give his first political speech.

Donald Trump focused on what he phrased as “Making America Great Again”. Pointing to many of the problems he believes the US is currently experience and the fact that America is being dominated politically and economically by many other powerhouse countries around the world

Potential Political Uses of Periscope

As we see the US Presidential Campaign kick into full motion in the coming months I think we will see more and more use of Periscope to live broadcast not only public events, gatherings and speeches but also to give viewers a bit of an insiders view of the goings on of the campaign trail.

Sure I think it is a given that Periscope will be used by Politicians in a formal sense by live broadcasting public and private speeches but I also think that and hope that the Presidential hopefuls can use Periscope to show a more personable side of the candidate that we often do not see reported on by the major television, newspaper and radio networks.

The beauty of Periscope is that it allows viewers to not only get an insiders perspective or a kind of backstage pass view of the live broadcast but it also ensures that what the viewers watch on Periscope they can be assured that it is live an completed unedited which should lead viewers to taking a more trusted approach to what they see rather than speculating that a particular political story is skewed with bias for some ulterior motive.

The view with Periscope is looking bright

As we have seen in the past when politicians, actors, musicians and other celebrities take to a new platform especially something that the average person can easily become a part of then it is a safe bet that platform will take off.

That is exactly what we have seen and continue to see with Periscope.

There is no doubt that since Twitter now owns Periscope and have to some degree integrated Periscope with Twitter, we will see the huge masses of people already hooked on Twitter quickly dabble with Periscope and most likely quickly become addicted with this fresh new social media platform.

It will certainly be interesting to see exactly how Periscope evolves overtime but for now it appears as though the future is looking bright for this incredible new startup.

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