When news of Tony Hall's vision for the BBC started to spread across the various digital channels on Monday, I couldn't help but feel there was one specific platform that needed mentioning: Periscope.
The director general talked about the need for an open BBC, the drive towards relationships, trust and consent with viewers as well as a focus on internet and mobile media. There was also reference to Google and a nod to Netflix and Amazon regarding the growing trend in binge-watching amongst viewers. Collaboration with local newspapers was also mentioned as well as a new iPlayer platform for children.
But whilst this vision may seem exciting and innovative internally, I feel that the BBC's eventual attempt to play catch-up may see them moving backwards instead.
If speculation about BBC's rolling news being axed turns out to be true because more news is being consumed on mobiles, then surely investment should be made in channels that create opportunities for trust, relationships and openness; so in social media not traditional media. For me, Periscope is the channel that could achieve this goal.
Recently I read an article in Forbes about Periscope as a business tool in which this social media channel was being compared to Google Hangouts. Throughout the article I couldn't help but shake my head, 'no, no, no'. There is more to Periscope than hanging out. It isn't supposed to be the new Google Hangout. To me, Periscope has the potential to be YouTube for the next generation.
YouTube has proved that we can all be broadcasters. The fact that we can watch YouTube on our Smart TVs proves how it has now caught up with conventional television channels.
Periscope could achieve this too. But what Periscope also does is allow viewers to become part of the broadcast, to be involved in the content and most importantly to have a voice. Herein lies the seeds of transparency and in return a trusting relationship.
These are early days for Periscope but I am already seeing bloggers and individuals hosting their own news channels. They are not sitting back, feeling frustrated that no one is listening to them because they have a platform on which to broadcast their opinions live - and people are listening. Someone who is doing this very well is London Beauty Queen. I find Hayley's broadcasts riveting and this is just the beginning of things to come.
Going back to the BBC, I wonder why they are aligning themselves with local newspapers who are in essence their rivals. It seems like a desperate move. What the BBC needs to do is focus on developing new territories for their content, in line with consumers' behaviours. And I think Periscope could be a step in the right direction unless of course the local media get there first.