HuffPost Live Behind the Scenes: How the Streaming Network Is Using Stars to Push Periscope

“It’s so fascinating to see people in their real life and to have that window in,” show’s social media chief Jeff Stevens tells TheWrap

As HuffPost Live evolves, Arianna Huffington’s crown video jewel is ramping up all things tech and social to bring in more viewers while drawing more interaction around its live video.

The show adapted Periscope, Twitter’s livestreaming app several months ago, allowing its viewers to get a more raw look at guests by way of the single-camera nature of most Periscope livestreams.

TheWrap saw a case study while visiting the set of HuffPost Live, where “Sex and the City” writer Candace Bushnell was on to promote her new book while using Periscope.

“It’s fascinating,” she told TheWrap about using the new livestream. “It’s so fascinating to see people in their real life and to have that window in. I think as human beings we naturally want to know about other people, so I think it’s exciting, so I’m really excited to start using it more.”

Social media chief Jeff Stevens told TheWrap using Periscope is a way to expand HP’s brand by giving viewers a perspective on interviews they can only get on Periscope.

They found spots on-set they’d block out exclusively for Periscope use — the setup down and dirty, often lodging an iPhone onto a camera Tri-pod.

From Taylor Swift’s social engagement to 50 Cent personally running all his social media accounts, Stevens says what you put into social is what you’re going to get out.

“50 Cent just came on, and I was very surprised when he told me he runs all his accounts–he doesn’t have anyone that runs his social media,” Stevens said. “It’s awesome for a person to be that personal and have their brand on Twitter, that’s what people want to follow and not just another celebrity who just follows everyone in the world but is actually using a third-party voice.”

The fun thing HuffPost Live has seen with Periscope was the huge uptick in live viewers it’s reached: “The more we do it, we’re just getting more and more people, ‘wow I want to watch that on your site, thanks so much for asking my question–those things make my day,” Stevens said.

Video General Manager Nathan Brown said the show’s success revolves around engaging with its viewers.

“Obviously, there’s Meerkat, and Periscope, and others that are coming to the market, and that’s what we’re inspiring to do–to reach out and engage people and create communities around topics. We see them as really fantastic tools to bring them into the HuffPost Live and HuffPost 24 ecosystem.

Managing editor of HuffPost Live David Flumenbaum says Periscope is the perfect format for what HuffPost Live does.

“We don’t have to change our format or bend to create interesting social video that will run on Periscope; the key to it is we’re providing a different angle for our viewers so that people who are either on the run or prefer the engagement of the Periscope platform, they can engage on that platform instead of the HuffPost Live platform.”

HuffPost Live airs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Watch video of HuffPost Live on Periscope