- Twitter debuted its first live stream broadcast on Wednesday, offering commentary, highlights and replays from the Wimbledon tennis event via a deal with ESPN, according to Ad Age.
- "Twitter is increasingly a place where people can find live streaming video, and that includes exciting sporting events like Wimbledon," Twitter said in a statement. "This live stream is an extremely early and incomplete test experience, and we'll be making lots of improvements before we launch it in its final form."
- The social media platform did not sell any ads on the live stream and was seen as a test for Twitter's live streaming capabilities ahead of its deal to stream 10 NFL Thursday Night Football games this year.
Like Facebook, Twitter is going after live streaming video.
Twitter has been competing in the video space since acquiring Periscope after the emergence of live video streaming app Meerkat. While Meerkat's success was short-lived after going head-to-head with the Twitter-owned app, Twitter and Periscope now face a similar challenge with Facebook's ambitious move into live video.
Twitter has been actively bolstering its live stream offerings. Twitter recently announced the launch of a live video button in the app that will include embeddable Periscope feeds, while reports suggest new live streaming deals are imminent. Twitter is about to close on 10 partnerships with media providers for live streaming video content, Ad Age reports. The news comes after Facebook recently signed 140 media companies and celebrities to Facebook Live contracts to help seed its new streaming video feature.
A spokesperson told Ad Age that Twitter has already sold over 60% of its ad inventory for its NFL live streams. The Thursday Night Football deal offers Twitter much-needed revenue and an opportunity to attract new users.
For marketer, live streaming is a new area. Right now, it is proving most effective on mobile devices and with younger demographics. Marketers looking to tap into young, mobile-first audiences should look to live streaming as a potential marketing channel. Both Facebook and Twitter are reportedly planning to sell ads in their live video offerings.