Periscope’s mission is to provide an easy to use live streaming service at the palm of your hands and a swipe of your phone screen, therefore, implementing and maintaining a very simple user interface is key for Periscope. Let’s take it back to the target audience and remember that Twitter and Periscope have been working hand in hand since Twitter’s purchase of Periscope making Twitter’s target audience the same as Periscope’s target audience. Twitter has an easy to navigate UI along with a simple Information Architecture (IA) that provides an orderly structure that draws in and preserves target users. According to CNET, Twitter is considered one of “the easiest social media platforms to use” – it is quick, simple, and easy. It may be no surprise that Periscope’s UI and IA is just as simple and easy to understand, but also very similar to Twitter’s. As it is known that a majority of Twitter and Periscope users are educated, knowledge seeking individuals, it can be fair to assume that these individuals are occupied with jobs and careers and are on-the-go making it even more necessary for Periscope and Twitter to make their application interface and architecture easy and quick to solve and utilize. Now let’s examine details of Periscope’s UI and IA. Similar to Twitter, it offers a main page that gets straight to the point, which in this case is a page that tells you whether your followers are live or not as seen in the image above. It also tells you how many viewers are watching any current live streams and the subject of the stream if that user chooses to provide that information. Below the main page screen, you see two other menu items (a total of three including the main page displayed). These two items are for finding more connections to add to your account (the far right icon), and for starting your own live stream (the middle icon).
The image above shows what the application interface looks like during a live stream. It appears the same whether you are watching someone else’s live stream or conducting your own. Your followers and connections are able to chat with you during your stream and these chats disappear after a few seconds or until the next set of chats pushes it off screen.
Periscope is an instant live streaming application that launched in March 2015 by a startup company that averages about 10 million users. The application provides users a way to share live moments from their personal lives with their followers as well as build connections with other users. It was one of the first live streaming services offered in the social media world, another to exist was Meerkat which was a smaller rival streaming service that Periscope blew out of the water with its initial success. As the concept of live streaming began circulating the social media world, larger apps started to notice, one of which was Twitter. Twitter took full advantage of the opportunity and decided to acquire Periscope in order provide a live streaming feature on their platform. The purchase is said to have been anywhere between $50 million to $100 million; specifics are unknown as both platforms have declined to give insight into the deal. That being considered, Periscope’s target audience is now joint with Twitter’s target audience, so let’s take a look at the target audience of Twitter. Twitter users consist of a wide range of audiences and according to a social media demographics study done by the Pew Research Center “Twitter is somewhat more popular among the highly educated”. Younger generations such as high schoolers and college students use the platform to stay updated on the latest trends, news updates, social environment, and celebrity news while older generations may use the platform for news updates, business concerns, etc. People in between those audience categories also have a variety of reasons for using the platform, but incorporating live streaming into Twitter allows each of these users to establish a more personal connection with any of the pages they follow. Typically, someone that is a Twitter user knows how to navigate their way around social media websites and applications and enjoy the technological advancements and updates offered to them. All in all, Periscope targets anyone that successfully utilizes the functions of Twitter and seeks to connect more in depth with the pages they are following, so their target audience consists of individuals that may be in their early teens to individuals that may be considering retirement. Of course these categories of individuals are not definite and their will be outliers such as Twitter users younger than early-aged teenagers, and users older than an average retiree, as well as everyone in between, but the main point is that Periscope targets a large audience that is involved in the social media world.