Last year, Twitter pushed into an entirely new medium by introducing live video broadcasting service Periscope. There was one problem, however: It was a totally separate app from Twitter’s flagship service.
Of course, Periscope still managed to make a splash, partly because it followed on the heels of buzzy rival Meerkat, which had premiered a few weeks earlier. That startup made a big splash at the SxSW tech festival with its service and helped to popularize personal live streaming.
Since then, Periscope has added Android and Web apps for people to broadcast everything from their morning breakfast routine to music shows and sporting events. Users have already created more 100 million video broadcasts, Twitter says.
But this is all about to change, or at least a little bit. On Tuesday, Twitter said that Periscope video streaming would be made available directly in Twitter’s
iOS app. Instead of having to follow links to Periscope’s app to watch a video in a tweet, live streams will now be embedded and autoplay from their Twitter feed.
“Whenever a broadcast is shared on Twitter, you tap the link to open the Periscope app,” Twitter said in a blog post. “Today, we’re replacing those links with the broadcast itself, autoplaying right within the Tweet. And when you tap the video, it goes full-screen and shows Periscope comments and hearts from other viewers. You don’t need the Periscope app or even a Periscope account.”
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The update makes watching Periscope videos far more convenient for Twitter users. It also lays the groundwork for turning Periscope into a more effective broadcasting and marketing machine.
Now, video publishers can show their clips to Twitter users without having to ask them to go to an entirely separate mobile app. Video publishers can also skip having to build an audience in a separate app because their Twitter followers are now also their Periscope audience.
All that’s missing now are the ads, which Twitter will no doubt add to Periscope in the future. For now, brands can use Twitter’s advertising products to promote their Periscope videos to users they target based on interests and keywords, like they already do with more typical tweets.
Twitter could also start to integrate Periscope videos into Moments, its newly introduced attempt at providing feeds focused on the latest news events. It already includes videos, so Periscope streams should fit right in.
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Of course, Twitter is not the only social media company to invest in live video. Meerkat is still around, while Facebook
added video broadcasting to its Mentions app for celebrities. It is now gradually making Mentions available to more people and brands. Meanwhile, Snapchat focuses on spontaneous, short-form video sharing with friends and even the world at-large.
Twitter says it plans to roll out its Periscope integration with Android and Web in the future. All users still need to use Periscope’s app to create video broadcasts.