Up Periscope: live streaming open days


Periscope offers universities the opportunity to take their Open Days to a wider audience.

The Periscope app allows users to share live-streaming video content through their smartphone, like a one-way Skype conversation only the content is public. This means students can watch Open Day talks and campus tours in real time from the comfort of their own home.

Periscope can help build a brand in several ways. However, for universities, a major advantage of Periscope is that it helps make Open Day talks accessible to visitors who cannot travel to campus. This market segment naturally includes international students – a huge priority for HE recruitment.

Periscope on mobile

Google Cardboard can create virtual reality Open Days but Cardboard requires investment and relies on students having access to a Google Cardboard viewer. Meanwhile, Periscope offers a simple and affordable alternative for showcasing Open Day talks:

  • Equipment – no professional recording equipment is required. Users just need a smartphone and the free Periscope app.
  • Simplicity – due to the lack of technical equipment, the task of filming could be entrusted to a student ambassador as opposed to a trained member of staff.
  • Immediacy – Periscope will allow interested students to watch the talks live, rather than waiting for the edited videos to appear on YouTube. This meets the increasing demand for immediate, real-time content.

Admittedly, filming an Open Day talk with a smartphone or tablet will never match the quality of a professional film-maker recording the talk on a camera. There would also be no time to cut out blunders or edit in screenshots of PowerPoint slides. Therefore, universities will have to weigh the pros and cons about whether to utilise the app.

In either case, Periscope is already progressing overseas. Some American universities are filming recruitment content through Periscope and you can view examples of MIT and UW-Madison’s campus tours online.


To date, there has been much less participation on this side of the Atlantic. However, this is likely to change due to Periscope’s popularity, which is rising now that Twitter owns Periscope.

Periscope is certainly one app that could have a big impact on student recruitment in the near future.

Simon Fairbanks

Simon Fairbanks

Simon Fairbanks is the Undergraduate Marketing Manager for the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham. He has been working in Higher Education since 2011. Simon is a self-published author and has written several books. You can read more about his writing projects at www.simonfairbanks.com.

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