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Periscope

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Periscope App Poster Image
Video-streaming tool with big privacy implications.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Figuring out how to broadcast a video is very intuitive, as is finding friends on the service.

Violence

Because there's no filter or monitoring and the streams are live, there's always the chance of viewers seeing violent content. 

Sex

Because there's no filter or monitoring and the streams are live, there's always the chance of viewers seeing sexual -- or sexually explicit -- content. 

Language

Because there's no filter or monitoring and the streams are live, there's always the chance of viewers hearing harsh language -- and harsh language is frequently used. While reviewing, we heard "f--k" and "s--t" and saw those words in user comments. 

Consumerism

Because there's no filter or monitoring and the streams are live, there's always the chance of companies using the app to promote their products. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Because there's no filter or monitoring and the streams are live, there's always the chance of viewers seeing drugs or alcohol being used. During our review period, we saw several people drinking alcohol and even more smoking marijuana. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Periscope is a streaming-video app that allows people to live-broadcast anytime from anywhere via their Twitter feeds. Similar to the competing service Meerkat, it's impressive technology but one that exposes the user to a wide variety of privacy implications (as well as potential inappropriate content). Because the app streams events live, there's no way for anyone to know what's going to happen next. That opens the door for sexual or violent material, endless strong language, and drinking and drug use. It's also easy to capture video of people in public places without their permission. There's a "report" feature users can access by swiping left on a broadcast to the info panel, so videos featuring content that violates the terms of service may be removed. Read the privacy policy to find out more about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWeld C. December 8, 2016
Adult Written byAlisiansi H. November 10, 2016
Teen, 13 years old Written byLolziekween April 24, 2017

Not Great

I love this app. What ruins it is all of the pedophiles on this app. They search for girls ages about 9 to 16. They mime them into thinking that they're aw... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 14, 2017

No. Just no.

Never let your child get this app. If you make the decision to or if your child already has it: UNINSTALL IT! Periscope if full of "them" if you know... Continue reading

What's it about?

PERISCOPE users are able to live-stream everyday events, which can range from sitting around the house to covering a breaking news event. Those streams get pushed to the user's Twitter feed for the world to see. There are no screening tools, so users who watch the streams are never entirely sure what they're going to see, but there is reporting feature on the info panel, which you can access by swiping left on a broadcast. You can follow other users, just as they can follow you, receiving notifications when they've launched a stream. Users also can comment on any stream via the app; streams are shown live as they happen. Streams are saved and can be replayed.

Is it any good?

As with Meerkat, this live streamer is part of a new trend of in-the-moment broadcasting tools that come with a host of possibilities and potential pitfalls. Streams aren't monitored, meaning users can (and do) freely broadcast sex, violence, and other iffy content. Because the potential for exposure to inappropriate content is so great, it's not appropriate for young children or tweens, and parents of teens might want to consider access on a case-by-case basis. It can open up the world, but it also can showcase things you might not be ready for your kids to see.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about privacy and the risks of broadcasting yourself to the world. What's fun about streaming video and getting live comments? What are the drawbacks? What would draw you to watching someone else's stream?

  • Discuss what's appropriate to share and what isn't. Remind kids that people beyond their existing Twitter followers might see their video.

App details

For kids who love social networking and sharing content

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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