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Twitter rolls out ‘Live’ streaming button for Periscope broadcasts to everyone

Twitter has rolled out its “Live” streaming button to general users, following a limited launch on the Android version of its app. The new feature connects to Periscope, which you must have installed on your smartphone, to let you quickly start a live broadcast.

Updated 06-15-2016 by Saqib Shah: Added info about general availability of Twitter’s “Live” button.

The announcement came in the form of a tweet: “Now everyone can tap a new button on iOS & Android to easily broadcast on #Periscope from Twitter!”

The “Live” button can be uncovered when a user goes to compose a tweet. The feature is located alongside other existing options, such as direct sharing of images and videos from your phone’s camera, or saved media from your library.

Tapping the “Live” button redirects you to Twitter’s Periscope app, from which you can begin hosting a live broadcast. If you don’t have the live-streaming app installed, it will offer a download link.

Related: Twitter will no longer count links, photos toward 140-character limit

Although Periscope has operated independently from its parent company since its acquisition in March 2015, Twitter’s efforts to ramp up its integration raise as many questions as solutions.

The imminent threat of its recently launched rival, Facebook Live, has no doubt forced the company to further promote live-streaming on its main platform. Consequently, we saw Twitter introduce auto-playing Periscope videos in January. Then, in April, it struck its historic deal with the NFL for the exclusive social media rights to live broadcasts of 10 Thursday Night Football games. The latter was undoubtedly propelled by Facebook’s own courtship of media partners for its burgeoning live-streaming feature.

Unlike Periscope, Facebook Live was firmly integrated into the social network’s main platform upon launch, and already boasts the ability to save broadcasts indefinitely — a feature that Periscope, in an effort to play catch-up, has also introduced.

If we are to assume that Facebook Live really does hold such a pivotal sway over Twitter’s approach to live-streaming, does that mean it will eventually go down its rival’s route and completely integrate its stand-alone app into its main service? In that scenario, the end result would obviously herald the death of Periscope in its current form.

At this early stage, however, we can merely speculate. After all, at present the new Twitter “Live” button is just another way to promote Periscope using a bigger platform. On the other hand, recent rumblings suggest Facebook may end up aping Twitter (again) by launching its own standalone camera app, which will include a live-streaming function. Ultimately, allowing users to have the best of both worlds could end up being the ideal conclusion for the battling social media giants.