As Twitter struggles to stay relevant in a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by giants like Facebook and up-starts like Snapchat, Twitter has announced a new addition to its product portfolio. Using Periscope, a live video streaming solution acquired by Twitter, a select group of “interesting broadcasters” now have the ability to stream live 360-degree video. While live streaming is nothing new, the 360-degree element facilitates a far more immersive experience than anything rival product Facebook Live can achieve right now. More over, Twitter’s new 360-degree live streaming product comes at a time when virtual reality adoption is just beginning to really take off.
Facebook Live has been a successful addition to Facebook’s catalog because it allows anyone to broadcast live video from anywhere with an internet connection. Viewers are instantly transported to the broadcaster’s locale, and they can interact with the person streaming live video as well. What makes Twitter’s offering special, however, is obviously the 360-degree element of the video streams. Why? Because now viewers aren’t just watching the action unfold — they can be there virtually while the action unfolds.
“We’ve always said that joining a broadcast is like stepping into someone else’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes,” Periscope said in a post on its Medium blog. “Today, we’re introducing a more immersive way to experience those moments — with live 360 video.”
The post continued, “With 360 video on Periscope, you can experience moments with the broadcaster and take a look around — it’s one step closer to actually being there. Starting today, you’ll be able to join live 360 videos on Periscope and Twitter from some incredible broadcasters — getting front-row access at exclusive events, traveling to places across the globe, and getting up close with well-known personalities.”
Here’s an example of a 360-degree video that had been previously streamed live using Twitter’s new Periscope tool:
360 Sunset in Florida. First ever #Periscope360 with @Brandee_Anthony https://t.co/AZWbnnT15S
— Alex Pettitt (@Alexpettitt) December 28, 2016
360-degree video streaming is available beginning immediately for a select group of users. Everyone else can join the Periscope360 waitlist by filling out this form. As far as a widespread public launch, no specific target timeframe was offered.