When it comes to livestreaming, you’ve all heard of Facebook Live and Instagram Live, but how many of you remember Periscope? It was big for a time in 2015, before Planet Zuckerberg got on board and diverted everyone’s attention.
However, Periscope – which is owned by Twitter don’t forget – is still thriving and has nurtured and engaged community across the globe. Also, as with any social platform, it has its share of influencers, and one of them is the guest on this podcast.
Amrit Singh – or MrASingh as he’s better known online – has thousands of followers and his broadcasts have reached millions of people around the world. He’s known for his amazing art, but has also put his influence to good use forming NowHumanity and livestreaming the European refugee crisis in 2016. He’s also launched his own art range and has given a Tedx talk.
In this episode, we talk to Amrit about what it’s like being a livestreamer and get plenty of tips out of him, including how to deal with trolls, why you should only ever go live when feel like you want to and how to make sure you never run out of battery!
Amrit was introduced to Periscope by a friend in 2015 and was initially hooked out of curiosity, pondering what it would be like to grow a following at the same that an app grew in popularity. Within a couple of years, Amrit has become a Periscope influencer and his streams have reached millions of people around the world.
He soon became known on Periscope as an artist, despite not having really done much art for a few years.
Livestreaming is very weird; it’s unedited, it’s unfiltered and if you make a mistake, everyone is going to see you.
His early streams were very random – just a mixture of whatever he was up to. The big moment on Periscope for Amrit was when someone asked him what his hobbies are. He mentioned art and was then asked by a follower if he would show them his art.
Amrit was very open and proposed the idea of him getting back into giving art a go, on air – he was honest about how long it had been since he’d made art and his followers went with it.
The whole idea of livestreaming was very surreal, very nerve-wracking. This idea of talking to your phone, reading comments, responding to them – while creating art at the same time – was insane. It was multi-tasking level 1000!
Amrit says that livestreaming is great way to become confident at presenting and public speaking in front of camera – a much better training tool than if he’d started on YouTube, for instance. You stop caring about just doing things on the go.
Before Periscope, Amrit didn’t do any public speaking – he’s now talked to millions around the world and has even given a Tedx talk.
Periscope has its trolls too – as Amrit says, the internet is the internet.
What trolls want is to cause a reaction. You get them on all the other platforms but livestreaming is totally different because they can see your reactions to their comments!
In the early days it was tough for Amrit; with Periscope being American and most of his early followers also being Stateside, Amrit was often people’s first experience of seeing someone with a turban and a beard. People’s perceptions of how Amrit looks were massively shaped by the media, and so some of the reactions were quite a shock.
There were two things Amrit could have done when the trolls arrived; quit or use it as an opportunity to teach people about culture and diversity. He did the latter.
What you have to understand about trolls is that most people who do it have been hurt in real life and they use the Internet to get out that anger. I’d far rather have them in my broadcast – because I can handle them – than have them go off to someone else and put them off their broadcasts. Quite a lot of my followers now used to be trolls!
However, Amrit always advises that, if you can’t handle trolls, just block them – don’t let their comments take over the show.
Moving on from trolls, Amrit is keen to stress that you shouldn’t join a platform with fame in mind; you should join it because you want to.
If you join a platform because you want to become famous, you’ll never share genuine content – you’ll always be after the likes. Your followers can see that.
For Amrit, a follower on a livestreaming platform is worth far more than a follower on Twitter or Instagram, because you get the chance to really influence them. You can talk directly to them and inspire them.
There wasn’t a number of followers that caught Amrit’s attention, but when he surpassed his Twitter following in a relatively short time made him take notice. Then, when brands started to approach him, he really had to step back.
In the early days, Amrit used to broadcast at least once a day – often late at night to capture his American followers. Now, he broadcasts when he feels like it – a tip he always offers to other people wanting to get into livestreaming.
You should only go live when you want to because you don’t want to put out content that is forced.
Amrit is now at the point where he’s been able to launch his own art brand – InkANIMA. He’s sold work, exhibited and even produced his own colouring book.
He’s also help set up NowHumanity – a project putting social media influence to great work, which led to Amrit livestreaming the European refugee crisis from Greece and France. He wanted to use livestreaming to amplify what was happening and show the world, unfiltered.
While he was there, he helped rescue people from boats, handed out food, talked to refugees and more.
Most people watching us couldn’t believe what they were seeing, because it was so different to what they were seeing in the media. We were showing the humanitarian side of the story. We managed to educate a lot of people about what was going on.
The streams from the refugee camps were incredibly powerful – to the point where the BBC had even turned up by the end of the week, because they’d seen what NowHumanity were doing. That raw, unedited side is one of the real powers of livestreaming.
It’s good to plan broadcasts to a point so you’re not umming and ahhing, but don’t plan it to the point where you ignore the comments – because they are the big selling point of livestreaming. You have to engage and interact…otherwise, it’s YouTube.
Amrit always tries to be as genuine as possible, and never wants to get ideas above his station.
I’m just a random guy who doodles.
In the world of livestreaming, you often hear about Facebook and Instagram, rather than Periscope. However, Amrit has never really been tempted to jump ship. He says Facebook and Instagram’s demographic are far more passive and far less likely to interact, whereas on Periscope, they love engaging an they comment on everything they see. They’re also far more likely to take action on something you say.
As of this year, people can now give you super hearts on Periscope, which allow you to receive tips and effectively get paid to livestream.
Periscope isn’t going anywhere. Twitter is investing a lot of money on livestreaming so it’s not going to go; in fact, it will only get bigger.
A top tip from Amrit for livestreaming…always carry a battery pack! He also always has a stand and a mic with him, everywhere he goes.
Amrit’s top three tips for being an awesome livestreamer
- Be genuine and honest with your audience.
2. Write down what your talents are, what job you do, where you live and who you are – all of a sudden, you’ve got a load of things to talk about.
3. Don’t worry about the trolls – you’re in control, it’s your show.
5 apps on your phone you use the most
Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Snapseed and InShot
4 people you’d like to invite round for dinner
It’s difficult to pick four, I really like all types of creative people – from Dwayne Johnson to Da Vinci!
3 words to describe what it’s like being a live streaming influencer
Free, exciting and there are endless possibilities!
2 places/events in the world you’d really love to visit but haven’t been able to yet
The Mayan Temples and Tokyo.
1 social media platform you love more than any of the others
Find out more
Thanks to #ASDIE18
The Native Podcast is brought to you by ASDIE, the Annual Summit for Digital Innovation in Education, which takes place in London on Thursday 19 July. Book your ticket now, and use the code POD10 to get a 10% discount!
The Native Podcast is hosted and produced by Dave Musson, our editor-in-chief.
Our music is by Broke For Free and is used under Creative Commons.
Want to be guest on a future episode of The Native Podcast? Get in touch!