Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying out Periscope and Snapchat to check out what all the fuss is about. Scoping!?! Live streaming!? Sharing a story!?!? Blocking trolls?!! Up until a few weeks ago I had no idea what any of this was about. And now I’m rather addicted to them both. But if you too have no idea what I’m talking about let’s start at the beginning….

What is Snapchat?

It’s an app for your phone that enables you to share photos and short video clips either with selected people or anyone and everyone who cares to follow you. You can add these together (via your story) to make a visual diary of your day. Each photo or video clip that you add to your story will only be viewable for 24 hours, after which it disappears. Snapchat has been around a few years but is gaining momentum. It’s fun and there are some very funny Snapchatters out there. Two of the big hitters in the travel blogging world are DrewBinsky (The Hungry Partier) and AdventurousKate. So if you are new to Snapchat follow them and check out their stories and you’ll soon have a really great grasp of what Snapchat is all about. Of course I’d love you to follow me too, TravelWithKat.

Snapchat Pros:

1. You can take a photo or video clip again if you didn’t like the first one.

2. You can add captions and doodles.

3. You can still add to your story even if you are temporarily without an internet connection.

4. You can download and save part of or all of your own story over the 24 hour period from when it was taken.

5. You can share your unique Snapchat icon (mine’s below). People can take a snap of this to automatically follow you. I’ve added it to my blog’s sidebar.

Travel With Kat on Snapchat

Snapchat Cons:

1. There’s no live interaction. I keep wanting to tap the screen, as you would on Periscope to add hearts, to let them know I liked something or found their snap funny. I find it frustrating that I can’t.

2. There is no way of sharing your snaps outside of Snapchat without downloading it first.

3. It’s really hard to get new followers (despite the unique Snapchat icon). To add someone they either have to follow you first so you can add them back or you have to know their exact username.

4. While you can use Snapchat with your phone horizontal or vertical if you then want to upload the video somewhere else it comes out like this…

What is Periscope?

Periscope is also an app for your phone. It enables you to live stream video. It was bought by Twitter before even being launched. It’s the new kid on the block having only been released in March but the consensus seems to be is that it’s going to be big. I’m really addicted. I love the interaction. Those watching live can type in short messages that appear over the video, either to make a comment, ask a question or just to say hello. If you are broadcasting remember to keep an eye on these, say hello back and thank people for joining. If you’ve shared your scope publically then it will be available for anyone to replay over the next 24 hours (unless you decide to delete it). While replay viewers can’t leave a comment, both live and replay viewers can tap on the screen to send you a heart to show they are enjoying it or a stream of hearts to say they are loving it. On my first scope I had over 50 people watching it and people saying hello from all over the world. (My video technique was shocking though.)

Periscope Pros:

1. People watching your broadcast, also known as a scope, can type in messages to make a comment or just say hello.

2. People watching live can also send you hearts to say they like what you are sharing which gives you a warm fussy feeling inside.

3. You can set your scope to be shared on Twitter the moment you start broadcasting.

4. People watching your scope live or on replay can share a tweet with a link to it. If watching live they can also recommend it to their followers to watch too.

5. You can share your location which means while you are broadcasting people can find you via the map but keep in mind it shows your exact location so never do this if you are scoping from home or somewhere you feel you might be vulnerable.

6. Points 3, 4, and 5 mean it’s easy to pick up new followers as you go. This is especially true if some kind soul shares your scope on Twitter or to their Periscope followers. And if you do that for someone else they will love you for it.

Periscope cons:

1. There are trolls out there that can make comments on your scope that you do not want. If this happens and you spot it in time, simply click on the comment, a window pops up which includes the option to block them. If you miss it when live look for it on the reply and block it there.

2. The app is designed to be used with your phone held upright and not on its side. If you do the latter any comments will appear on their sides.

3. If you haven’t got an internet connection you can’t scope.

4. Scoping gobbles up data so whenever you can use WiFi.

5. Below is an example of one I did earlier today. This is the embedded video from Katch.me so doesn’t show the comments or hearts flying up the screen so I do come across as a crazy lady talking to herself.

While I love them both, I get few new followers on Snapchat, however, I do love the way you can diary your whole day in one story on Snapchat. If you tried to do this on Periscope it would create a bunch of unconnected scopes. Also with Snapchat you can still use it even if you are temporarily without an internet connection. As a blogger they are potentially both great tools allowing me to connect with my followers. With Periscope you can also reach an entirely new set of people and share with them the highlights of the places you visit.

UPDATE May 2016: I’m now getting new followers every day and have been for a while now, especially since placing my snapcode in my blog’s side bar.

And the winner is…

The one thing though that really clinches it and propels Periscope into the lead for me is the live interaction. People love it. And I love seeing people from all around the world saying hello and asking questions when I scope. I think Periscope is going to be big. It’s pretty big already.

UPDATE March 2016: I’ve now been using both platforms for some time and Snapchat is now the one I use the most. I just find it much more convenient and easy to use. I love it! I still Periscope from time to time but nowhere near as much as I did at first.

Are you using Snapchat or Periscope?

If so please do leave your usernames in a comment so I can follow you. Which do you prefer?  You can find me on both through my username ‘TravelWithKat’.

Lastly, any of you travel addicts out there using Periscope your welcome to join our group of fellow travel nuts on Facebook, Periscope – Travel Group for tips and support.

There’s also a group for Snapchat, Snapchat for Travel Bloggers.

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