Twitter has launched Periscope today, the livestreaming app it acquired back in February.
Livestreaming has become a hot topic in recent weeks: Meerkat, a similar app, has seen a slew of media attention, explosive growth, and recently raised $US12 million at an estimated $US40 million valuation. Twitter acquired then-unlaunched Periscope back in February for a rumoured $US75 to $US100 million.
Periscope lets users easily stream footage from their devices to their followers. Viewers can comment and send “hearts” to the streamer. The footage can be then replayed later — a key difference to Meerkat, where the footage is gone for good once the stream is over.
A large part of Twitter’s appeal is its popularity with celebrities, and it looks like the company’s hoping this star power can provide a similar draw to Periscope. “Breaking Bad” actor Aaron Paul, astronaut Chris Hadfield, magician David Blaine, high-profile businessman Mark Cuban and skateboarder Tony Hawk are among those already using the platform.
Twitter has also been limiting Meerkat’s access to the network, seemingly in anticipation of the Periscope launch.
Periscope videos aren’t integrated directly into Twitter — you have to install the separate app. Greater integration may come later, however. Twitter also owns Vine, a 6-second video app, and the clips can be embedded directly into users’ Twitter timelines and viewed without leaving the main app.
Here’s what it looks like to browse streams on Periscope: