The microblogging site, Twitter is betting big on video – it will offer an API or application program interface, as an advanced and simpler option over its live video app, Periscope. This new API will make it easier to stream video from cameras and other equipment. It remains to be seen in what way and how effectively the new API will help journalists and brand managers create new instant content.
Twitter has been looking at live streaming of video in order to attract more users to sign up for newer accounts. It has signed deals with the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League which indicates its confidence about the API helping it get more users to sign up.
With the new API, users will now be able to stream live video right from Twitter, without even having to download its video app, Periscope which Twitter acquired two years ago. The new API has enabled Twitter to plug in streaming technology into hardware, software and cameras that allows users to broadcast videos live without using either the Twitter or Periscope apps. The API has Switchboard Cloud, Telestream, Teradek, BrandLive and Livestream. The Switchboard Cloud software allows users to stream videos to both Twitter and Periscope together; it also supports YouTube and Facebook. On the other hand, Livestream has a Mevo camera that uses Wi-Fi and LTE to shoot live footage that can be shared to the Livestream platform, Facebook and now on Twitter.
The investment in Periscope is not the first time Twitter tried to loop in video streaming. Prior to that, Twitter had acquired Vine, in 2012. It’s an app that allowed users to make 7-second looping videos but for reasons best known to Twitter it neglected the service, and eventually shut down the app. Thereafter, in late 2014, Twitter quietly acquired Periscope which was at that time a startup that had barely come out of incubation and was still some time away from releasing a product. Now, on Twitter’s new API, to broadcast live videos, tap “compose new tweet” then tap the “LIVE” button; this will bring up the pre-streaming frame. When you’re ready to shoot the video, tap the “Go Live” button. One very good feature of the new API is the interactivity it offers. Users watching your video broadcast can interact with you by sending comments and likes in real time.