Laptop showing social mediaUp your Periscopes and go full steam ahead through this post, as our next battle will begin on April 21st 2015.

Google are introducing us to a new system whereby your websites’ mobile friendliness will be a search result ranking signal. According to the Google Web Master Central blog, this digital development will significantly impact our search results and means that users will receive much better, more relevant and high quality results, optimised for their devices.

With this in mind, it’s logical to think that companies will travel further down the digital advertising route to keep in line with our generations’ ever expanding brood of trends.

We previously touched on this topic in our post about modern social media advertising, the rise of ‘Ello’ and how companies will adapt to the seemingly imminent change of consumer attitudes towards online branding. However, according to The Drum , it’s the UK who’ll have the lead role in shaping future digital advertising.

After suggesting that over 50% of internet traffic comes from mobiles, The Drum also predicts that such advertising will grow by 12% in 2015 to £8.1bn, which will make the UK the first country in which £1 to every £2 will go towards digital media. With this in mind, do I really need to tell you the importance of transforming your website to go hand in hand with mobile traffic? You’ll regret it if you don’t…

Now, although this new algorithm isn’t technically in place yet, can we see how it will change our online experiences?

Well, we can thank Twitter for being ahead of the game. They’ve already implemented new features such as Periscope and ‘retweet with comment’, which have given us a sneak preview into an even friendlier mobile future!

First up? Periscope. Although a platform in its own right, Periscope is accessible through Twitter and is a live video broadcasting site. Users can broadcast videos in real time to their followers, allowing people to see events unfold as they happen. If used through Twitter, a tweet can be sent when the user begins broadcasting, so their followers can click a link to watch the broadcast. Similar to other social networking platforms, Periscope allows users to ‘heart’ videos and post comments, ensuring it remains interactive. Furthermore, Periscope allows the broadcaster to keep their video available for viewing for 24 hours after the broadcast has ended.

According to The Guardian, as Periscope is so new, you’ll stumble across a mixture of confused people trying to use it, people showing you their fridge (like some sort of DIY Cribs episode), people filming out of car windows and people walking around cities. So far – not terribly interesting.

So, what can we expect from this new feature? Aside from the probable yet inevitable broadcasts of pranks, news bulletins and homemade ‘One Born Every Minute’ style videos – there’s a genuine opportunity for companies to connect with their consumers here.

According to the Periscope Privacy Statement, you only need to set up an account if you’re going to broadcast – there’s no need if you just want to watch videos. This is an attractive feature for companies wanting to interact with their customers, as there’s no faffing about asking them to register to see the goods. You can merely post a link on your Twitter when you begin your broadcast and watch the viewer’s come streaming through.

Already, we have businesses muscling in on this new technology. Similar to the ‘Selfie Stick’ improving our self-took photos, we now have ‘Action Mount’, which aids hands free filming. As reported by The Guardian, ‘Action Mount’ is aimed at the sports market, with several football clubs toying with the idea of streaming live training sessions to their fans.

I know what you’re thinking. How can we adapt this feature to direct marketing? The answer is…

Give your consumers what they want! Whether it be a sneak peek, a behind the scenes, or a live Q & A – the novelty of having your favourite company interact LIVE, is a great one.

The Huffington Post, came up with some great ways that companies can utilise Periscope as an advertiser. Our favourites?

– Celebrity takeover

– Announcing offers and contests

– Building excitement through sneak peeks right before a launch date

However, it’s not all a bed of roses. It seems the use of Periscope has its downfalls and like a block of Swiss cheese, there’s some holes that need thinking about.

After reading this Guardian article, there seems to be some navigational issues with the feature such as; difficulty browsing due to a lack of filters, no search function, only available on iOs for the moment and interestingly enough, typing comments is ‘too slow’ on mobiles, which raises the question: Is Periscope as mobile friendly as we thought? However, that’s a story for another day…

Lastly, without getting too deep and political here, we feel that a live broadcast feature should be monitored and regulated extremely carefully, especially with certain unlawful videos knocking around on the internet in recent months. However, we’re not guru’s on the ins and outs of the privacy settings of Periscope, so we’re not well informed enough to comment too explicitly.

Second up? Retweet and comment.

Despite Twitter’s charm originating from short, snappy statuses, it seems the platform has matured and influential users have found ways to get around the strict 140 character limit. Techcrunch rightly explains that this is not a new concept – many people have used features such as ‘Tweet Longer’ in order to have their lengthy opinions expressed. However, the ‘retweet and comment’ feature is different – you don’t need to click an external link to see the post!

However, you may have noticed that the ‘retweet and comment’ feature is rather similar to the ‘Quote’ button, but The Next Web visually shows the difference between the two. So, instead of having the text copied into your tweet, only leaving you with a baby handful of characters; the tweet you’re trying to quote will embed into your retweet as a card, leaving you 116 characters to write an additional comment.

How can this help your brand? I hear you mutter…

It allows people to share your posts / links much clearer and also allows consumers to easily post an opinion alongside your original content without having to scrimp on words. In a nutshell, it’s a great tool to gage feedback and will decrease the chance of people passing off your tweets as their own, as the initial text will be embedded as a link, instead of pasted text.

It’s no secret that the development of the digital age is continuous and certain, but it’s down to us to keep up to date with the newest technology in order to effectively target and interact with our customers. It’s safe to assume that Periscope is a feature that companies can use to their advantage and The Huffington Post suggests that live streaming will give larger brands a modern way to engage with their audience. Similarly, Twitter’s ‘retweet and comment’ feature is the perfect way to give a voice to the consumer. It frees the author up to give more of an opinion, as after all, we know how frustrating the Twitter character limit can be! So to sum up, with digital advertising set to grow and companies more willing to invest into it in 2015 – as suggested by The Drum  – it’s only logical that companies grab the bull by the horns and put 100% into this ever evolving avenue of interaction.

So, that leaves us with one more question – what will your first stream be?

Natasha Calder

Account Executive at Eye Candy – Provider of promotional staff, brand ambassadors, models and other fine events and marketing related stuff.

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How to make your website even more mobile friendly

How Periscope Could Be Better

Digital Advertising on Mobiles

How Will Brands Use Periscope? 

The Guardian on Periscope

The Next Web

Google Web Master Blog

Twitter Support

Periscope Privacy Statement