How To Use Periscope: The Complete Guide for Beginners, NOOBS, and people who didn’t read the directions


So you’ve been thinking about using Periscope. Whether it’s for business, or your just looking for a fun way to share your traveling adventures, you sense there’s something special about a mobile-first social media app that focuses on live video.

THIS my friends is the place to start.

What you’re about to dig into is all the ins & outs of getting started with Periscope. It’s not all-inclusive, but it is everything I’ve learned since I downloaded the app the day it released (back in March 2015).

But before we dig in, let me clarify something…

…this is not a guide to hacking Periscope.

…this is not a guide to getting loads of followers.

…this is a guide for people just starting out. A guide that should be used alongside your personal use of Periscope.

Nothing, I repeat nothing, will replace the learning and confidence that will come from getting on Periscope and using it.

This step-by-step tutorial is going on the assumption that you already have a Twitter account already. If you don’t, I strongly encourage you create a Twitter account first. This will give you a better experience on Periscope and will make communicating with people you meet much easier.

Now, let’s dig in.

Getting Logged In

Just in case you haven’t done it yet, DOWNLOAD IT HERE.

After it’s downloaded, click on the app. You should see a screen like this.


Choose the option to “Login with Twitter”


Do you have a Twitter account but it’s not on your iPhone? Go to settings and add it


Now go back to the app and select Login with Twitter

Notifications & Settings 

The first thing you’ll see once you’ve logged in is a pop up window asking you to enable notifications.periscope-enable-notifications

If you’re trying to decide on whether you want them or not, start with yes. You can always change it later. But to start, you can at least see how they work.

Navigation Bar or Hot Buttons 

You’ll now see a screen that is blank. Once you begin following people this will show scopes that are live and ones that are still available for replay. The 4 buttons at the bottom are how you navigate through the app.


Again, scopes that are live and ones that have been recorded within the last 24 hours will be available here. You may also see Featured scopes in between the live and replay scopes. These are scopes the Periscope team find very interesting, relevant to culture, or breaking news.

When the terrorist attacks took place in Paris in late 2015 I was on Periscope watching scopes from people (Euro Maestro & Chantal TV) right in the city rather than the news stations on TV.

Finding Scopes to Watch

There are some good ways to find scopes to watch that Periscope has built right into the app. This may be fun and exciting for you, it may not be. I’ve put together a list of scopers I think you should watch to get a good idea of the variety of different ways the platform can be used.


Here are a few of my favorites.

Ryan A Bell: Creator of Summit Live & well connected within the world of live video, you’ll stay up to date on what’s happening.
Kim Garst: Known as the Periscope Queen, she has a great morning show to help you with all things business.
Parachute TV: The first “channel” on Periscope that has a variety of different people creating and hosting their own shows. Following this account will connect you with lots of great scopers
The Editor TV: Similar to Parachute TV, this account has a lot of entertaining scopers. If you’re looking for a good laugh or low-key experience, check these guys out.
Alex Khan: Looking for a tall, charming, and good looking German? Alex is your guy. He also brings LOTS of helpful info for people new to Periscope.
Chalene Johnson: Fun, vocal, and not afraid to tell you how it is, Charlene helps you with confidence, systems, and getting to the next level in life and business.


The second button on the navigation bar is where you can go to watch scopes from people you’re not following. When you click on the globe, you’ll see a map, most likely centered on the country you live in.


Now the first question might be, what are all those dots with numbers, Ryan?

  • Red dots are scopes that are currently live that you can join
  • Blue dots are scopes that have already finished but are still available to watch on replay

If a dot, regardless of color, has a number that means there are several scopes in that area available to watch.

Click on the dot to watch the scope(s).

The map can be used similar to the way you’d use the GPS map on your phone. Move two fingers apart to zoom in. Pinch them together to zoom out. Oh and if you see a line that kind of curves from top to bottom of the map that’s where the sun is rising or setting.

periscope-map-live-replay-broadcast-scopeIf you click on any of the dots (regardless of color, or how far you’ve zoomed in on the map) a list will pop up so you can select a one of the scopes in that area.
periscope-map-menu-scope-broadcastIf there’s a red bar on the right of the thumbnail photo that means the scope is live. These will be listed first. As you scroll down, you’ll be able to see all of the scopes that have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

Tip: If you don’t share your location when recording a scope you won’t show up on the map.


The other option is the list. Here you can see a bunch of scopes that are currently live, not necessarily based on location.

It looks similar to the home screen in that it features a few live scopes at the top and then lists a bunch more below it.

All the scopes on this list are live.

If you touch the magnify glass in the image below (upper left corner), you can do a manual search for specific users or broadcasts (image below).

Periscope NOOB-new search-2

People (The 3 Wise Men)

We’re now jumping to the button all the way to the right on the Navigation bar. It has 3 silhouettes which I call the 3 wise men.



At the top of this page is a featured account. Pretty much since Periscope launched in March 2015 it has always had the Periscope account here. Occasionally you will see another account that Periscope recommends here. I have no clue how Periscope chooses who to feature here.


Right below the featured accounts are ones Periscope deems trending. There is no clear explanation of how this is determined but Periscope does have some sort of algorithm that places accounts here. You’re sure to find a wide range of scopes, some with verified accounts, others who just started and don’t have many followers.

Following on Twitter

If you scroll through all the trending accounts you’ll come across a list that shows all the people you follow on Twitter who also have a Periscope account.


This is list is alphabetical order. Before you actually follow, click on each account to see if they’re actually using Periscope.

Hint: If an account has only one heart it’s most likely that they have not done a scope yet (or they’ve never been given any hearts). This can help you in knowing who would be worthwhile to follow.

Magnify Glass

In the upper left corner there is a magnify glass. Touching this will take you to the same search menu mentioned earlier. You can search for specific users or broadcast topics.

There isn’t a clear understanding of how Periscope displays the search results based on what you search.

For example, Wayne Breitbarth is a LinkedIn expert. He has the word “LinkedIn” several times throughout his name and bio (more on this later), yet he doesn’t show up in the results when searching “LinkedIn”.

Wayne is an excellent person to learn from if you’re using Periscope within your business.

I encourage you to type in the username or full name of the person you’re looking for to make it simpler.

Tip: You everyone has a unique link to their account on Periscope. It’s, (i.e.


In the upper right corner there is a silhouette in a circle. This is where your profile is located.

Here you can get an overview of what you’ve been up to as well as make changes to your profile.

Edit Profile

In the upper right corner you can choose to edit your profile pic, name and bio.


Profile Pic: If you have a photo on your Twitter account it’s going to automatically make it the same photo on Periscope.

Name: This is what will show up when people look at you on their friends list. In a scope you’re username is displayed (i.e. ryan_bilello)

Bio: Here you can give people a little more detail about yourself and hopefully what you scope about. You also can include links here which is a great way for viewers to connect with you when you’re not live on camera.


Below the bio info you’ll see options to view people your following, your followers, people you’ve blocked (people who can no longer see your scopes), and broadcasts.


You can view everyone you’re following. The list is ordered in most recently followed down to the first people you followed.

Remember, if you have notifications on you’ll receive one every time they start a scope of their own or they share one they’re currently watching (we’ll get into sharing scopes in another part of this post).

You can also mute notifications on an account by account basis. You may choose to do this if you’re keeping notifications on but have someone you’re following who is scoping a lot or sharing a lot of scopes they’re watching.


I don’t have notifications on, but if I did I would mute notifications for great scopers like Vin Nolan. He scopes several times a day. I like having him in my list of live and replay scopes available, but I don’t want my phone pinging me every hour. I’ll watch on his scopes when I have time.

You can also see a section labeled Recent. Here people can view any of your scopes that have been recorded within the last 24 hours.



Without notifications on this will be the place to see if you’re audience is growing. It’s also good to look at this from time-to-time to see if there are any spam accounts or sex-bots (don’t worry, you’ll know when one is following you) following you.


This is a list only you can see. If you block anyone, whether broadcasting your own scope or watching someone else’s, they will show up here. You can also unblock people here.

We’ll show you how to block someone when we discuss the screen options when watching and recording scopes.


All the scopes you’ve recorded are here. Remember, they’re only available for 24 hours and then you can’t watch them anymore.


There are only a few options here, but they are some important ones.



User Follows You: In addition to getting a notification from people you follow you also can receive one when someone follows you.

Preferred Languages: This defaults to the language you chose on your iPhone but you can add additional ones if needed.

Autosave Broadcasts: If you would like you can save all your scopes to your phone automatically once you’ve ended them. If you leave this off, you have an option to save them on a case by case basis.

Additional Info

Help, feedback, and legal info is all listed here. To be honest, I’ve never used any of these things. My hope is once you’ve finished reading this you’ll never need the Help Center.

How Do I Logout?

Periscope really doesn’t want you to log out of the app, at least this is the impression I get based on the location of Logout. It’s at the very bottom of your profile.

How Do I Switch Accounts?

Currently you can only be logged into one account at a time on Periscope. To switch, logout and then log back in with another account.

Tip: Sign up to beta test Periscope (called Betascope). This will be a stand alone app you can have in addition to the regular Periscope app available to the public. You can login to a separate account on each one.

Creating A Scope

Things are getting serious now. The third button from the left in the Navigation Bar look like a camera lens. This is where you can start broadcasting live.

What are you seeing now?

Your cursor will be located at the beginning of this sentence. This where you can type a compelling headline telling people what your scope will be about. Be clear and concise because characters are limited.
Tip: Highlight & copy the title of your scope before you start. Sometimes a scope will randomly crash. Being able to paste the title of your scope will help get you back up and running quickly.

Another Tip: Scopes always start with the camera on the back of your phone. Once you go live you can double tap your screen to have it switch to the camera facing you if needed.

Options Before You Start Broadcast

Above the reddish button are four options you can toggle on/off for each scope you start. They will default to whatever you chose on your previous scope.



Navigation: If you want people to know the approximate location of where you’re scoping, turn this on. This scope will also show up on the map both live and as a replay. If you don’t want to share your location then keep it off (I keep it off whenever I’m scoping from home).

The Lock: This is a private broadcast. Select who you want to share it with. It won’t show up on the map or list parts of the app.



Chat: If you turn this on, only people you follow can comment during your scope.

Twitter: Choose whether or not you want to send a tweet telling people you’re starting a scope. Below are two different views of what the tweet will look like.


The one from Chocolate Johnny is still available for replay. The one from Laura Husson is more than 24 hours old and isn’t available for replay.

Do you see how Twitter really displays scopes within their feed. There aren’t too many times, for the sake of exposure and reach, that you wouldn’t share your scope on Twitter.

>> NOW, you’re ready to broadcast! <<

Options While You’re Scoping

The app is really created around a person showing their world, so once you start your broadcast, you really need to focus on communicating and engaging with viewers.

There are a few options you have while you’re in the midst of scoping. Swipe (left to right) to see the title of your scope and the most recent viewers to join it, as well as the share options and the ability to turn off/on comments.

You also can touch comments as they come in to do one of two things;


  1. View their profile (& follow them if you want).
  2. Block them if they are being offensive, rude, or disruptive. These people are known as trolls.

Options After You’ve Finished Scoping

The first and most important decision, specifically if you have autosave turned off, is whether or not you want to save your scope to your phone.

Check the box before leaving this screen if you want to save it to your phone.

Sharing your scope is important too. Go to your profile, select broadcasts, select a specific one (that’s less than 24 hours old), then touch share.

Here you can share straight to Twitter or Facebook, plus you can copy the link to the scope.

Watching A Scope

Once you’ve selected a scope to watch there are a lot of options for you while you watch.


Simply touch the screen anywhere and you’ll see a heart show up in the lower right and it will flutter up along the right side of your screen.

Hearts are a nonverbal way to tell the person who’s scoping that you like it. It’s kind of like a like on Facebook, or a heart on Instagram or Twitter. You can give up to 500 hearts while you’re watching.

Say Something

Introduce yourself, tell people where you’re watching from, or ask a question. You’re limited to the number of characters you can include, and they’ll eventually disappear, so if you’re talking to the scoper make it short and sweet.



This is Jeremy Lardani. He’s a pretty good guitar player.

The more viewers are commenting the quicker they disappear to make space for the new ones.

Reply to Other Viewers

If you want to respond to the comment of another person, click on their comment and box will pop up at the bottom of your screen to reply.



Click it and the Say Something text box will be filled with that person’s username. You can then write your comment. When you post the comment it will have a curving arrow that only the person you mentioned can see.

Swipe Right

You can swipe (left to right) over and see the title of the broadcast. You also can share the broadcast (via Twitter or Facebook).

If you’re logged into these accounts within the settings of your phone you can share the broadcast with your followers without leaving it. A small window will pop up for you to edit the text before you push it to Facebook or Twitter.

Tip: When you share a scope within Periscope people who follow you will receive a notification. It will also show up in their feed.

If you don’t want comments on while you’re watching you have the option to turn them off as well.

Below these options are a list of some of the people currently watching live. You can touch them and a window will pop open so you can see their profile and follow them (if you want).


Replay ONLY Option

You can fast forward or rewind any scope you’re watching replay. Just touch and hold the screen (anywhere you would tap to give hearts) and the scope will pause and video will get small revealing options to fast forward or rewind.

While still touching the screen you can drag your finger right or left to fast forward or rewind.

No More Excuses

While I by no means claim to have covered everything within the Periscope app I think everything you need to make a decision on Periscope is.

Get the tips, training and tools you need to succeed with live video inside our free community. There’s a complete library of free resources available for you to download today.

4 replies
    • Ryan Bilello
      Ryan Bilello says:

      Rebecca–I’m glad it was helpful for you! There are a couple of new Periscope features that I need to add to this article. 1) All broadcasts save automatically (forever, and 2) you can now search broadcasts by category (hashtag).


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