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Twitter takes on Facebook with Periscope-powered live video feature


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

December 14, 2016 | 5 min read

Twitter is taking on Facebook with a new feature that will let users broadcast live video directly via an integration with its live-streaming service Periscope.

Announcing Live Video Creation on Twitter

Twitter takes on Facebook with Periscope-powered live video feature / Twitter

The social network has unveiled a campaign inviting users to #GoLive, bringing Periscope closer to Twitter's own core product - something the company has been doing little by little since it snapped up the service in March last year.

Tweeters using the platform's mobile app on iOS and Android will no longer have open the Periscope app to share a live-stream with their followers, instead they will be able to share what they are up to with Twitter's walls when they're drafting a tweet.

Users still need to have Periscope installed on their phone for the feature to work, but now when they compose a Tweet, a 'Live' button will take them to pre-broadcast screen where they can frame their shot before broadcasting.

As with Periscope's traditional offering, viewers will be able to engage with live-streams by commenting and sending 'hearts' to show their support. Tweets that contain live video can be retweeted, liked, and shared.

"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," said Kayvon Beykpour, chief executive of Periscope.

"Twitter's already the place where people go to see what's happening. With this update, anyone can now broadcast what's happening live."

The move comes as Twitter increasingly wants to be viewed as the go-to platform for news and live events. As part of this, the company's chief marketing officer Leslie Berland has been spearheading the push of its 'See What's Happening' mantra heavily over the past few months.

The move will help Twitter compete with Facebook Live, which is seen by many as the biggest player in the live-streaming space at the moment. Facebook has invested heavily in Live over the past 12 months in a bid to outpace Periscope. Back in June it signed deals with over 140 publishers and creators, stumping up more than $50m to get them to produce content on the real-time platform for its 1.7 billion users.

Further Periscope integration on Twitter wil not only bring a richer experience to the social network's timeline, but also fits in with Twitter's other moves into the live-streaming space in 2016. Such plays have included a deal with NFL to show Thursday night games in real-time as well as a global deal with Bloomberg in the run up to the US election.

After Twitter axed Vine earlier this year, Ogilvy & Mather London's James Whatley, who is planning partner of innovation at the agency, said that Twitter integrating a 'Go Live' feature into its main app earlier in the year - taking users directly to Periscope - was a move which indicated it could be phasing out Periscope completely.

“Facebook is stepping up its attempt of owning ‘live’ and, combine this with the focus on one-to-one messaging with brands via Messenger, is encroaching on Twitter’s heartland once more," he said at the time.

“In December last year, Ogilvy Digital Trends 2016 put forward a theory that Twitter’s place in the digital ecosystem could be eroded by its competitors. We didn’t want to be true then. We don’t want it to be true now.”

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