Earlier this year Alex Khan was in Los Angeles. If you don’t know who he is Alex is one of the top Periscope creators, currently with 131k followers and over 46MM likes as of this writing and he runs a blog for the best Periscope tips on AlexKhan.tv. We sat down for lunch at Umami burger for a chat about Periscope, influencer marketing and the evolving ways that people communicate. This is the first in a three part interview with a Alex, who recently had the honor of being a Keynote Speaker at the Periscope Summit.
Q: How did you get into being a Periscope creator?
Actually, it was coincidence. I stumbled upon an article. I don’t remember where it was, maybe on TechCrunch. I founded Germany´s first mobile fashion marketplace TrendU before and I sold it to a publishing house last year. So, I was into that field. And I read an article about how Twitter bought Periscope for $100MM before it even started. So, I was of course pretty curious, and wondering why they had paid so much money.
I was instantly fascinated by this live broadcasting app.
I wanted to know the story, so I downloaded the application on day 1 to see what it is. I was instantly fascinated by this live broadcasting app. For me it was pretty interesting, because if you think about media itself there are many different media. Starting with books, newspaper, radio, cinema, TV and computers. It´s fascinating as all media coexists next to each other and no one replaced the other one. The Internet is the first medium that acts as a gateway that soaks all other media into it. The interactivity makes it unique. And now thanks to Periscope a new level of interactivity comes through a mobile device. I love how a broadcaster can directly interact with other users, like a kind of live YouTube.
So, I downloaded the app, became active and made a video about the most funny employee of mine in Malaysia. He looks really funny like a young Albert Einstein. I didn’t know what would happen, but people joined the experience. I experimented and got 1,000 hearts out of a 15 minute stream. I got really hooked about it. People joined, left and new people joined again.
Then I took a look at the top list. On day 1 you needed to have around 10,000 hearts to be in the top 30. I think on day 1 60-70k people downloaded the app. I had around 1,500, so I felt 10,000 hearts wasn’t that difficult. So I went on with it. I did a lot of fun broadcasts. We have a big house in Kuala Lumpur with a pool and lots of amenities. I was telling my viewers that for 5,000 hearts my friend will jump in our pool. It was a warm day, so no big deal. We achieved it, and received 7,000 hearts in between five minutes. People were hooked about it and I entered the top list on day 1. I went to sleep and woke up and the next day where you already needed 30,000 hearts to enter the top list.
At this point I had to stop and ask a very simple question: What toplist!?? Alex explained that if you click on people on the lower right, and you view your followers, after scrolling down you can see the Most Loved List. It is sorted by amount of hearts.
Everyone sees this list. Now to be on that list you need 2.5-3MM, but in the beginning you needed 8-12k hearts. I was doing really fun stuff. Basically, for every heart you gave me I jumped. I did push ups and all kinds of fun stuff and I of course also had fun with it.
As soon as I got into this list I gained followers. I got more and more followers every day. So, this gave me another kind of addiction, or motive to stay on. I felt that more and more people are joining. Today it’s around 2 MM user on the app.
(At this point our Truffle Burger from Umami’s came and we indulged! I explained the ketchup is truffle ketchup. So good.)
I point out how I feel about streaming. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. It’s a great feeling to put out content and get feedback from the public. I also note other people express similar points – putting something out into the marketplace is empowering. You become your own media company.
The way people react to the content is unique. Streaming has been there since the 90s but mobile streaming is a game changer. I think it can have a really big impact on the news industry, the entertainment industry, but also for the people who audiences get hooked on. You have Facebook for expressing yourself and communicating with your friends and family. Twitter is your news channel. Instagram is a Facebook for photos, and Vine a kind of Facebook for short videos, you know? And Periscope opens up a totally new field of communication as it is live.
Next week we’ll publish part two of our interview, where we’ll talk about Alex Khan’s professional background and how Periscoping changes his views on interpersonal communications. You can find Alex on Twitter, Periscope (search Alex Khan) and on AlexKhan.tv
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