Twitter’s recently launched “Explore” section will now feature live videos sourced from Periscope within its “Top Trends,” the company announced yesterday. The move will further integrate Twitter’s standalone live streaming app into its main platform, leaving even fewer reasons to keep a separate app dedicated to live streaming video around.
The company has been criticized for its slow progress in integrating Periscope’s live streaming capabilities into its own app following the acquisition of the up-and-coming live broadcasting tool back in early 2015. Instead of leveraging Periscope’s technology to immediately build out its own live streaming platform within Twitter, the company instead tried to operate Periscope as a separate entity – similar to how Facebook treated Instagram.
But unlike Instagram, Periscope was acquired pre-launch, so it didn’t have an existing community to build upon. It also faced intense competition from other tech giants, including Facebook and YouTube, as well as the then-newcomer startup Meerkat (which has since exited the live streaming race.)
Over the past several months, Twitter has been course correcting with regard to how it treats Periscope, however. In December, it launched the ability to live stream directly in Twitter itself, without having to open up the Periscope app. The streams started on Twitter would also be visible in Periscope, but the second app was no longer a requirement.
In addition, Twitter’s mobile redesign – which saw it replacing the “Moments” section with a broader “Explore” area for search and discovery of trends, Moments, video and more – has also put a greater emphasis on live video. Of course, this includes those live streams Twitter now hosts through its numerous media deals, like those with the NFL and other sports organizations, Dick Clark Productions for various red carpet events, media outlets for political and business news coverage, and more.
Now, it will tap into Periscope to promote the live streams from individual users as well.
Watch what’s trending – LIVE! You’ll now see Periscopes surfaced in top trends. pic.twitter.com/Bhj8JT2ITw
— Twitter Video (@TwitterVideo) February 14, 2017
These streams will be found in the “Top Trends” section within Explore, which is where you can browse the top hashtags and keyword searches that are currently blowing up on Twitter’s network. When live videos are taking place in one of those trending sections, they will be marked with a bright, red “LIVE” label for easy spotting.
When you watch the video, you’ll have the same experience as in Periscope – with the ability to heart and comment on the video content, as well as retweet.
Whether or not live video is available won’t influence the selection of trends, apparently. As of the time of writing, none of the top trends are featuring live video. However, in the case of breaking news, it will be easier to “tune in” to the live content on Twitter, courtesy of this new feature.