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Why Twitter letting you broadcast live video in your tweets is important

Twitter periscope2Twitter

Your Twitter feed is about to see a lot more motion.

Twitter is integrating Periscope, the live video broadcasting app it bought a year ago for $86 million, directly into the iOS Twitter app.

That means that users will be able to broadcast live video of themselves directly to their Twitter followers, and they won’t need to click a link and leave Twitter, or download the Periscope app, to view it.

Users will then be able to open Periscope to chat with people.

Facebook is already doing something similar with Facebook Live Video, which it rolled out to all users in December.

The introduction of Periscope’s live stream in Twitter is an important one. Not only for Twitter, which desperately needs to add users, and to do it fast, but it’s an important step in how media is moving forward. Stats are showing that more people are ditching traditional TV for their media consumption than ever before, and they’re all going online instead.

Periscope’s play in this, especially now on your Twitter feed, is that when something breaks, you can watch it when it happens, and that’s what the younger generations want. They want to see things, know things, and they want it now.

That could be anything from a journalist at the scene of a breaking event, or even something as odd as the 20,000 people who simply streamed a puddle on Periscope last week.

But big events are using it too, and changing the way people can see them. Take Myer, which streamed the Melbourne Fashion Week for the first time on Periscope last year.

Or Perfection chocolates, a small chocolate shop from Sydney who have amassed thousands of followers by live streaming them making their chocolate.

You could even be Kurt Fearnley, the first person to live stream a wheelchair marathon.

Having all of this straight on your Twitter feed now makes it so much more immediate, integrating with your existing feed which is all about everything that’s happening this second.

The Twitter stream is just the beginning for this too. Aaron Wasserman, a lead engineer for Periscope’s iOS team told Business Insider Australia that they’re just scratching the surface for Periscope’s potential. The most obvious next use for Periscope would be integration into Twitter’s Moments, which Wasserman said was something they were looking at.

“There’s no integration with Moments just yet. This is the first time we have packaged up code to ship inside Twitter’s app. But now sky’s the limit, we could integrate with that [Moments] or DMs even,” Wasserman said.

Periscope launched last March and has varied in popularity, but it’s consistently one of the top 20 social networking apps on the iPhone, according to AppAnnie, and Apple picked it as the best iPhone app of 2015.

Twitter needs to increase engagement: the company’s number of average monthly users has been flat around 300 million throughout most of 2015, although the company hasn’t yet released figures for the busy fourth quarter holiday season. Since cofounder Jack Dorsey reclaimed the CEO reins earlier this year, the company has been focusing on features to boost engagement during live events, including Moments, which highlights what Twitter thinks are the best tweets during live events.

Despite this need, Wasserman insisted that Periscope integration wasn’t what the new feature was all about, saying:

“I think that we weren’t really approaching this design problem with user growth in mind. It was the right thing to do. There are so many broadcasts being shared on Twitter, but the current cards leave a lot to desire. We wanted to fix that and make it super easy to watch on Twitter.”

Here’s what the new Periscope integration looks like:

Play GIFTwitter

From launch, Periscope integration with Twitter will be an iOS only feature, but Twitter says it will be coming to their web and Android apps soon.

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