Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) may be struggling to get more people to sign up but it is far from giving up in the social media race. Its live video broadcasting and streaming app, Periscope, was blessed with a new feature today, which will almost certainly evolve to be one of the key functions of the application; the ability to save video clips in a mobile device’s camera roll.
The app now lets you save replays of your broadcasts permanently by simply typing “#Save” in the title and the user has the option to delete them later. Up till now, broadcasts used to automatically disappear after 24 hours. The feature that Periscope had been missing all this time will now help it to compete against rival video streaming and broadcasting services such as Facebook Live, and cater effectively to frequent users like brands, celebrities, and public figures.
Although it has been over a year since the initial release by Twitter, Periscope has repelled several brands and content creators with the ephemeral part of the live broadcasting service — just because its live doesn’t necessarily mean it has to exist for a brief period of time. While the 24-hour timespan to self-destruct gave the broadcasting user a natural and Snapchat-like feel, professional content owners were put off by the idea of their hard work disappearing within a day. This made the app seem virtually useless.
With the addition of #Save, content creators and the average user would be more inclined to sending, saving, and sharing broadcasts. Permanent replays are optional and you can still broadcast something that you want to dispose after the 24-hour window. The new addition to Periscope brings it closer to Facebook Live, which for long had the upper hand with its optional permanent replay feature.
While the Twitter-subsidiary is catching up with the technological prowess of Facebook, a massive difference in the size of targeted audience can be a key differentiator in the success of both services. Periscope is tied to the real-time microblogging site with over 300 million users, while Facebook boasts a massive userbase of over 1.55 billion. Furthermore, Facebook Live exists entirely within the social network, while Periscope only allows broadcasts from within the app and not from inside of Twitter.
One arguable point could be that Twitter is perceived as a news-first platform, while Facebook is mostly used for personal activities. Such new features on Periscope would bring more value to users than Facebook Live. Facebook recently started focusing more on videos, live streaming, and personal content in a bid to drive competitors like Periscope and Snapchat out of business. Now that the world’s largest social network wants to nourish news-viewing as well as live broadcasting features with particular emphasis on video, both Snapchat and Twitter, let alone Periscope, are losing some sleep at night.
Kayvon Beykpour, co-founder and CEO of Periscope, took it to the company’s website to announce the new feature. However, it is currently in a public beta phase and is relying on user feedback for the final rollout. The company plans to innovate and develop enhanced native controls in the app to permanently display a broadcast including a new feature that allows you to mark something as permanent after the end of the broadcast.
The executive also said that the development team is working on controls for users who wish to keep their broadcasts up for a shorter timespan than forever but for more than the 24-hour limit. Saved content will be displayed on a user’s profile and can be shared on Twitter. Broadcast links shared on Twitter externally will remain permanently active.
Mr. Beykpour also wished farewell to the third-party tool, Katch, previously used to save and share Periscope videos on other platforms. The startup was shut down when it hit a financial dead-end. Speaking of which, Twitter hasn’t quite started to monetize on Periscope, while Facebook Live has become increasingly popular. The tweeting company must have a plan to come up with innovative and interesting offerings even if it struggles to expand its userbase. The real-time interactive tweeting and broadcasting nature was something exclusive to Twitter, but the social platform is losing its groove as it looks to Facebook to keep up with the trends that it once itself had set.