Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming video app, introduced a new interactive feature that lets hosts invite guests to participate in live audio broadcasts.
The new feature opens a new communications venue for influencers as well as brands. It’s much like calling a radio station to converse with the host. But in this case, listeners call a Twitter personality. Once a person goes live, listeners can request to join the conversation and leave or return any time. Up to three people can participate at once. Think of it as talk radio on the internet. One possible application: live game shows sponsored by brands.
Things Get More Interesting
“Broadcasters can still read and respond to chats, but things get more interesting when multiple people can have a conversation together and share it with the world,” Periscope states on Medium.
To go live together, both the broadcaster and guests must opt in (and either party can stop at any time), as Periscope explains. First, broadcasters select the icon on the pre-broadcast screen before going live. Viewers can then ask to join, and the broadcaster can choose to accept their requests and add them as guests. The broadcaster and viewers can tap on any guest’s avatar to make it appear biggest on their screen. Periscope explains more details on the technical aspects about how to add guests in its technical instructions.
The live streaming service, which launched audio-only broadcasts in September, plans to soon let users add guests to video sharing.
Twitter is playing catch up to Instagram and Facebook Live, which have aggressively pushed live video. The latest news may signal a new push from Twitter to improve live streaming, but it’s not clear if the platform will be able to topple Facebook’s dominance. Still, it offers another choice for influencers and social media marketers.
Twitter is Well-Suited for Audio
As a primarily text-based platform, Twitter feels better-suited for live audio broadcasts than Facebook or Instagram, says Matt Southern at Search Engine Journal.
News reporters, for example, can provide live audio updates of breaking news without having to provide accompanying video, Southern says. It may also prove to be a useful way to share updates longer than 280 characters without having to publish multiple tweets.
Audio-only broadcasts retain all the same reporting insights of regular live broadcasts. Users will be able to view stats such as numbers of live viewers, replay viewers, average listening time, and more. Listeners will be able to interact with a live audio-only broadcast with likes and comments, just as they would with a live video broadcast.
Audio may seem less advanced than video, but its users had requested audio-only streaming, according to Periscope. Sometimes people don’t want to show themselves or their surroundings.
Some tech observers say the tool could provide a way for influencers and brands to offer a form of podcasts. “While not quite podcasting in its method of distribution, Periscope’s addition of an audio-only broadcasting feature due to user demand shows just how popular online audio shows and series’ continue to become,” comments Matt Binder at Mashable.a
Bottom Line: The ability to include multiple people in live audio broadcasts on Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming service, could help create a new form of podcasts or talk radio. Although that scenario is far from certain, the app does provide influencers and marketers a new communication alternative.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.