Live video arrived on the Twitter app today, a little less than two years after Twitter acquired live-streaming startup Periscope.
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Periscope (and Meerkat—RIP) helped pioneer the trend of broadcasting live video to Twitter users via a standalone app, and its technology will power the new feature on the Twitter app. To use it, compose a tweet in the Twitter app, then tap "Live." You'll find a pre-broadcast screen where you can frame your shot, and then press "Go Live" to start broadcasting.
The Periscope app isn't going away immediately. Live video broadcast via the Twitter app will be viewable to Periscope users as well, who can comment and add reactions to their followers' streams. Viewers of a Periscope live stream often react with hearts to show support for the broadcaster, which float across the screen. That practice will continue in the Twitter app.
Twitter said in a blog post that the live video integration will be rolling out to all iOS and Android apps "over the coming days."
Although Periscope was one of the first options for broadcasting live video on social media, its status in the US has perhaps been eclipsed by Facebook's own live video option, which generated intense debate in 2016 following live video feeds of police brutality. Controversy notwithstanding, live video is likely immensely profitable for Facebook, which is paying its top broadcasters millions of dollars.
Facebook-owned Instagram has also announced live video, rolling out now, though it's taking a more Snapchat-like approach with clips that disappear after they air.
Smaller players have also entered the live-streaming space, including Twitch, which was originally conceived as a video game streaming site but has since expanded into other broadcasts following its acquisition by Amazon in 2014.
For its part, Twitter has inked deals with the NBA and the NFL to broadcast live sports games, and folding Periscope's features into its main app is a sign that Twitter wants to be a major player in offering everyday citizens the opportunity to broadcast live video, too.