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Welcome to London: Airbnb is using Twitter live 360 video to showcase travel spots

twitter 360 live video launch buys periscope
Airbnb is one of the first brands to jump on Twitter’s recently launched live 360 video feature. The online accommodation marketplace is tapping its hosts and local insiders to showcase a selection of homes and experiences currently available to book as part of its recently launched “Trips” initiative.

On Friday, the company kicked off its broadcasts with a 360 live-stream of its “Cameroon Fusion” experience. The live clip saw Airbnb host Carnie host an at-home cooking class as she prepared a Cameroonian feast with the help of her guests.

Carnie’s Airbnb pad is located in Brixton in South London, a place known for its African and Caribbean heritage. The live 360 video lasts just over half an hour and was filmed from the perspective of a guest, allowing users to navigate the action around the room by tilting their smartphone or clicking and dragging the cursor on their desktop.

The video, which was broadcast live on Airbnb’s official Twitter account and on Periscope, has thus far received more than 455,000 views.

Join us in London! Jump into an Airbnb experience on #Periscope360. Just move your phone around and see what happen…

— Airbnb (@Airbnb) January 6, 2017

If you missed out on the live-stream, you’ll have a chance to tune into two more live 360 broadcasts courtesy of Airbnb. The first will take viewers on a home tour in Kauai, Hawaii, on Saturday January 7, and a Detroit city tour later on the same day.

“What’s unique about bringing Airbnb experiences and homes onto the live space on Twitter and Periscope is that we’re able to bring people together,” said Jasmine Atherton, Airbnb’s head of social, Americas. “Airbnb was built on creating meaningful connections with people and having deeply local experiences–– live 360 video is a perfect way to bring that to people no matter where they are.”

Twitter launched its Periscope live 360 video feature earlier this month. It is currently only available to select partners (including prolific streamers and brands) but will be rolled out more widely in the future. Those looking to live-stream will have to first purchase an Insta360 Nano camera, with users signed up to the Periscope Producer program (for professional broadcasters) offered the ability to use additional devices.

The adoption of the new function by brands is a promising sign for Twitter, which currently faces competition from Facebook’s own 360 Live Video tool. Airbnb is not the only company taking to the feature, with Toyota using it to unveil its AI-powered Concept-i car from CES earlier this week. The live-stream was a hit, garnering 1 million viewers in less than 12 hours, according to Twitter.

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