Twitter Extends Periscope Live Video App’s Reach Beyond Smartphones

Twitter extending Periscope app functionality to Periscope Producer

Twitter’s line of sight is now extending beyond smartphones into the realm of professional video production as its Periscope service start to offer Periscope Producer, an extension of the live video capability for regular broadcast feeds.

After successfully stream live video from mobile phones for the past ten weeks, it seems Twitter is ready to take the shackles off the Periscope service and allow video production houses to feed their own programming directly into Twitter.

As a technology improvement it is not very different, but the real-world implications are huge. If this goes well, we could see Twitter becoming a unique type of broadcaster where people can come and watch live events in a virtual group setting, sharing their comments and thoughts while the video is playing.

For now, Twitter is testing the service with just a few media production companies like Disney’s ABC News, but others can apply to the service here:

One major problem that the company is facing is that some of the content being fed via smartphones isn’t properly licensed. People live-streaming movies from their smartphones, for example, is causing problems for Periscope as well as for Twitter. Since live feeds via smartphones are open to all Twitter users, there’s not much they can do to stop this apart from aggressively going after abusers and shutting down their accounts permanently.

But that’s not something Twitter is likely to do because it is already reeling under the influence of slow user growth. Despite being online for almost as long as Facebook, Twitter only has 313 million users against Facebook’s 1.7 billion. And that’s hurting its top line, obviously, because advertisers naturally want to go with a fast-growing social media network over a sluggish one.

Video will hopefully change that for Twitter, because now that speculations about Twitter being acquired have been put to rest, the company needs every bit of firepower to regain the value its stock has lost since last week. The original rumor was that several large companies including Google, Salesforce and even Apple and Walt Disney wanted to buy Twitter, but now it looks like the deal is off the table.

The live video push is possibly Twitter’s last chance at regaining its former glory. It’s a viable and growing segment that its peer and biggest rival Facebook is also after. Twitter needs to move fast and, so far, they’ve been making all the right noises and striking a considerable volume of deals for live streaming sports and other event-based content.

It will take time for all these deals to hit Twitter’s bottom line in a significant way, but if recovery is in Twitter’s future, then live-streaming video is the only possible vehicle that can take it there.

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