Twitter Throws its Hat in the Ring of Live Streaming

December 20, 2016 mogointeractive

Although Twitter made the decision to layoff around 350 employees in an effort to cut costs back in October, it appears that they are not letting that stop them from unveiling new features. On December 14, 2016 Twitter announced that users can now broadcast live video straight from the Twitter mobile app.

Twitter announced, “Starting today, you can create and Tweet live video from the Twitter app, powered by Periscope. To go live, compose a Tweet, then tap “LIVE” which brings you to a pre-broadcast screen where you can frame your shot. When you’re ready, press “Go Live” to start broadcasting.”

Since Twitter acquired Periscope, a live streaming app that allows you to watch both live and previously broadcasted mobile video streams, in January of 2015, it was only a matter of time before they integrated live streaming into their app. Previously, users could watch live stream video through the Twitter app (without also opening Periscope) and receive alerts when someone whom they follow was live streaming through Periscope. Earlier this year, Twitter rolled out their “Go Live” button to users of its Android App in an effort to test the feature. The “Go Live” feature will officially be available for all Twitter mobile app users “over the coming days.”

Once a user starts a live broadcast, anyone on Twitter and Periscope can join in their live video and participate in the user’s experience. Users can comment on the live stream or send hearts to support the user who is broadcasting.

A Race to be the Leader in Live Streaming

This is a make or break time for social media companies who are trying to be the leader in live streaming. On November 21, 2016 Instagram introduced live video for Instagram Stories. The live videos are only available for people to view during the actual live broadcast and disappear after the broadcast has ended. The disappearing videos are designed to encourage people to broadcast more regularly, instead of just during special events.

On November 30, 2016 Google announced that they are rolling out 4K 360 live streaming via Youtube. This is a much higher video quality than Facebook Live and Periscope/ Twitter which currently streams up to720p at 30 fps. 

Just two days before Twitter’s “Go Live” rollout, Facebook announced that as of Monday, December 12, 2016 it will support 360-degree live stream videos. It made its debut via National Geographic’s Facebook page with a 360 Live video featuring scientists emerging from 80 days of isolation in pods at Utah’s Mars Desert Research Station. The feature will be an option in Facebook Live’s API later this month, but it won’t become available to all users until sometime in 2017.

How This Affects Content Marketing

This is a huge opportunity for brands to engage with their customers like never before. Live streaming allows brands to connect with their customers in real time without breaking the bank. It creates an opportunity for increased transparency by opening up an environment for Q&A’s, real-time customer support, live product announcements, interviews, coverage of live events, and behind-the-scenes looks into what your company does.

Brands can also use live streaming as a platform for releasing educational content. Short, instructional broadcasts allow your brand to provide helpful content, without trying to sell something. Potential customers can ask questions live and interact in real-time.

Utilizing live streaming correctly can help your brand feel more relatable to customers and create a lasting connection.