Periscope is the latest live-streaming platform to jump on the selfie filter bandwagon with the launch of its very own election-themed facial overlay graphics.
The lighthearted feature gives you the option to don a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump mask when broadcasting in selfie mode on the Periscope iOS app. The limited edition graphics will be available for the duration of next week — meaning you can’t forever impersonate Trump or Clinton during your live-streams.
Unlike the animated graphics offered by Snapchat — which pioneered the selfie filter format — and more recently by Facebook Live, Periscope’s Clinton and Trump masks were created using actual photographs. The final result, complete with puppet-like mouth movements, resembles something you’d expect to see in South Park.
The images are credited to Gage Skidmore, a prolific election trail photographer whose Flickr photos have reportedly been re-used 30 million times — including by the presidential candidates themselves.
What on the surface may seem like an irreverent new addition is part of Periscope’s bid to get people talking about politics. “We hope this is an entertaining way to have conversations and raise awareness around the election and the importance of voting,” explains the company.
Significantly, the update arrives on the heels of Facebook’s Live video selfie masks. It seems both platforms are fervently trying to boost engagement using playful new features that can attract new users who may otherwise be put off by creating traditional broadcasts.
Periscope claims it will introduce more tools to help live-streamers produce compelling live video soon, which could be an indication that more Snapchat-style graphics are on the way. For now, there is no mention of whether selfie masks will be available on an ongoing basis — in the vein of Facebook Live — after the election.
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