Over the past few months, a new social media app called Periscope has become increasingly popular. It’s highly likely that you’ve heard of, if not used, this app. But, what is Periscope?

It’s an app that allows you to live stream video content to your followers. They can then reply with comments or send “hearts” to the streamer.

Periscope launched around the same time a similar app, Meerkat, was running a flashy social media launch. However, Periscope’s acquisition by Twitter helped the app gain traction with users and surpass Meerkat in popularity. Its connection with Twitter means that broadcasts are automatically tweeted from your linked account when they start. These videos are stored on your account and played back later.

According to The Week, Periscope had one million users within ten days of its launch. It is now widely used by everyone from journalists to politicians and brands such as J. Crew, Taco Bell, and even Kensington Palace.

Check out the Wall Street Journal’s explanation of how it works.

Periscope’s website states that their app is “the closest thing to teleportation.” They continue, “While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized that there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video.” They even suggest the app could be used to livestream protests.

In addition to being used for personal communication, Periscope can be a powerful PR tool. It encourages a great level of interaction with an audience and has the ability to give exclusive content to a niche group of strong supporters of your brand. Periscope was found to be particularly popular with the more difficult to reach millennials, according to a survey by Horizon Media.

So, how exactly can PR advisers utilize Periscope to their advantage? Because of its interactive nature, the video-streaming app is particularly useful for Q&A sessions. From livestreaming speakers at a conference to demonstrating new products to giving sneak previews of upcoming launches, MarketWired Blog suggests many ways that brands can utilize the new app. News outlets can show behind-the-scenes footage while covering an event; singers can give previews of their new songs; restaurants can give viewers a peek into their kitchens.

While it’s always hard to determine whether popularity will last, brands continue to utilize Periscope. It may not be the right fit for every company, depending on the kind of content you have available for live streaming. However, like other social media platforms, it is useful to have a working knowledge of how the app is used. Periscope seems to be the new social media tool that you need to know about.

-Nicole A. 

Advertisements