Twitter has been struggling to regain its identity in the face of acquisition rumors and staff layoffs, but there’s one thing it’s always been great at: instant engagement. Now it's bringing the same in-app connectivity you get with your tweets and timeline to live video.
Broadcasts aren’t entirely new to Twitter. Last year it spent a sizable sum to bring live-video pioneer Periscope into its fold, but the two apps have never been fully integrated. Twitter had previously built a live video button into the compose screen that allowed users to begin Periscope broadcasts within the Twitter app, but with the new update rolling out to the Play Store and live in the App Store, users will no longer be required to have both apps installed.
Also, as Twitter explains, the experience is now more of a cross-platform one, and for die-hard Periscopers, the level of engagement shouldn’t change. “Once you’re live, anyone on Twitter and Periscope can join your live video and participate in your experience. When you’re watching a live video, comment and send hearts by tapping the screen.”
It’s unclear what the means for the standalone Periscope app, especially in light of Twitter’s announcement earlier this year that it was shutting down bite-sized video creation service Vine.
What this means: By making it easier to broadcast live videos, Twitter is clearly taking aim Facebook Live, a similar feature that Facebook has been heavily promoting. But it’s not just about keeping up. This is just one of several moves Twitter has been making as it searches for a way to reignite growth after months of stagnation, even signing a deal to stream NFL Thursday night football games as it looks to make video a more central component of its service. Instant live broadcasting should provide a boon to this push, but it remains to be seen if live video is the answer to Twitter’s problems.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.