Twitter is launching a new live video function that will enable brands, popular personalities and general users to stream content directly from within its official mobile app. The latest update, which is powered by streaming service Periscope, is set to roll out to iOS and Android devices in the coming days.
Twitter has been steadily integrating Periscope’s video functions into its own app since snapping up the service in March 2015, and the new functionality means that users won’t have to fire up another standalone app when they want to broadcast and share a live stream with followers.
Users are still required to have Periscope installed on their smartphones for the live video streaming to work, but they will now only have to a navigate to a “Live” button when creating a Tweet, which will send them to a broadcast screen. Viewers can also get in on the action by tapping to join. The overall experience will be exactly the same as on Periscope, with comments and “hearts” at its core.
Twitter’s renewed focus on live video is a move aimed at making a dent in Facebook’s share of the live streaming space. Facebook invested more than $50 million (£40 million) in original live content from hundreds of publishers and creators back in the summer, and it has been advertising this content heavily since then.
While Twitter has arrived fashionably late to the live video party, it appears to be well-suited to live streaming, as the platform is more likely to be populated with people whom users are actually interested in viewing, such as celebrities and online personalities. Live video and streaming appears to be a battleground for today’s social tech giants, and Twitter is hoping that it will become the de facto home through its tighter integration with Periscope.
“We started Periscope because we wanted to give people the superpower to share live video with an audience. Bringing this capability directly into the Twitter app is an important step because it brings that superpower to the hundreds of millions of people who use Twitter,” Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour said.
He added: “Twitter’s already the place where people go to see what’s happening. With this update, anyone can now broadcast what’s happening live.”