If you’ve been keeping an eye on Twitter for Android, you might have spotted a new live-streaming button within the mobile app.
When users start composing a tweet, the new “Live” option can be activated. It’s located next to the other existing options, such as direct sharing of images and videos from the smartphone’s camera, or saved media from the library.
If you tap “Live” button, the app automatically redirects you to Twitter’s live-streaming app, Periscope, where you can start hosting a live broadcast.
For now, only a limited sample of users can see the feature, but when it eventually gets promoted from the test phase, all users will get their hands on this useful option.
Even after Periscope was purchased by Twitter in March 2015, the app was allowed to operate independently from its parent company. However, Twitter’s renewed efforts to integrate it into the main app raise as many questions as solutions.
One of the reasons why the company has started to fiercely promote live-streaming on its primary platform might have something to do with Facebook Live, the recently launched rival that poses a real and imminent threat.
Consequently, Twitter responded with rolling out auto-playing Periscope videos this past January. Then, April saw Twitter sign an impressive deal with the NFL for “the exclusive social media rights to live broadcasts of ten Thursday Night Football games.”
The partnership felt like an aggressive response to Facebook’s own interest in inking deals with media partners for its baby live-streaming feature.
But unlike Periscope, Facebook integrated Live directly into the social network’s main platform straight from the beginning, adding new options every couple of weeks. The feature was already endowed with the ability to save broadcasts indefinitely, not just for a limited 24-hour period.
Playing a competitive game of catch-up, Periscope has already announced it was also beta testing this feature. If Twitter does indeed feel threatened by Facebook Live, is it safe to assume that Periscope will eventually be completely integrated into its main service?
Should that scenario become true, it would be the death of Periscope as we’ve come to know it. But at this point, it’s merely speculation, because the new Twitter “Live” button could also be just another way to promote Periscope on the bigger platform.
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