Twitter is latest to add 360-degree live streaming

Dive Brief:

  • Twitter announced in a company blog post that 360-degree video live streaming through Periscope is now available on its main platform.

  • Videos broadcasting in the new format will be tagged with a Live 360 badge. Users watching Live 360 posts can shift the video’s perspective by moving their phone or swiping their screen. While anyone can watch Live 360 videos, only “select partners” can create them at this time.

  • Despite putting a fresh emphasis on live video hosting this year, Twitter only introduced live streaming options for users via Periscope technology in mid-December.

Dive Insight:

The new Live 360 format shows that Twitter is quickly building out its streaming offerings following Periscope integrations earlier in the month, though users’ access will be limited for the time being in what looks like a sort of test phase. Twitter is likely feeling increased pressure to ramp up its streaming options following Facebook’s recent announcement of a live 360-degree video feature that is also called Live 360. As a result of these announcements, offering a robust set of video features, including live streaming, 360 and now live 360, is becoming a must-have for social platforms. 

Despite leading the charge in brokering live streaming media deals earlier this year, Twitter has seemed to be playing catch-up in offering users access to the video technology, which may hurt the platform in the long run as its influence wanes. Not only has Facebook bolstered its Live offerings with 360 views, it’s also added live streaming for Instagram Stories as well.

With 360-degree video, often linked to VR, there is fuller immersion and user control over a video. Partnered with the real-time authenticity of live, Live 360 formats could then heighten viewers’ engagement and emotional response to content, which has big implications for brands and publishers looking for fresh storytelling avenues on social.

Twitter might still hold a bit of an edge over the competition given the strengths of its existing media deals — it has partnerships in place with every major U.S. sports league — and its reputation for hosting real-time content and breaking news. 

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Top image credit: Twitter