Periscope vs Facebook Live – it isn’t a grudge match

Smith, Andrew (2016). Periscope vs Facebook Live – it isn’t a grudge match. In: 2016 Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference (SocMedHE16), 16 Dec 2016, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England.



Periscope and Facebook Live both offer educators an opportunity to extend their ‘typical’ teaching and learning experience into the domains occupied by different social media paradigms. Both are live video streaming technologies – enabling individuals to broadcast live events in an (almost) real time format.

Each entrenched in affordances of their own host system – Periscope is for Twitter, as Facebook Live is for Facebook. Avoiding the obvious, it is clear that Facebook and Twitter serve different social media communities. However, with tools available to interconnect Facebook and Twitter. Live streaming Internet broadcast quality video content can transcend either platform and the behaviours of their respective communities of practice (Lave 1991).

Teaching networking has already been accomplished using Periscope – by virtue that this platform was released a clear year ahead of Facebook Live. Work has been accomplished using this platform as a tool to reach and teach prospective Network Engineers basic practical skills in the domain of Cisco routing (Smith 2015).

Linked to the Teaching by Social Media process, already being researched and developed within a distance learning context. The teaching team were able to integrate a series of live sessions. Presenting a comparable set of online practical sessions via Facebook live.

Using similar sessions, offered an opportunity existed to critically evaluate the respective strengths and weaknesses of each platform. From technological affordances to audience engagement and persistence of the video post broadcast.

Following the first five from the former Periscope weekly sequence (October 2015) the work presented via Facebook Live in May 2016 –covering:

• IP addressing • Subnetting • Static routes • Routing using RIP • Routing using OSPF

This session critically compares the affordances offered by Periscope and Facebook Live – on a 1:1 session basis as well as how:

• The different audiences behaved and the impact on student engagement? • Technology strengths and weaknesses? • Reach and persistence, what was the impact? • Audience perception.

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