Periscope to implement new save and search options, drone-based streaming

twitter periscope link live stream
Periscope’s rise to the top of the live-streaming video service heap had more to do with its ease of use than depth of functionality — the service lacked a way to opt out of obtrusive alerts at launch, for example, and for several months was without an Android client. But spurred on by the competition, the Twitter-owned broadcasting app is finally stepping up its feature game. On Monday, it announced search, video archiving, and integration with DJI drones.

The attention to detail within search, perhaps the most visible of Periscope’s incoming features, is apparent. You can sort broadcasters and broadcasts in a practically endless number of ways: by the hashtag of your choosing, using tags as specific as “first-time broadcasters” and “aerial footage,” or by Twitter’s suggested categories (e.g., music, food, art, and travel). The usefulness of search is predicated on broadcaster participation, of course — only live streams with hashtags in their titles are searchable — but it’s an encouraging first attempt at making sense of Periscope’s fire hose of real-time content. And more importantly, it’s one that co-founder Kayvon Beykpour told The Verge he’s committed to improving. “We’re still scratching the surface, but this is our starting place,” he said.

Beyond search, Periscope is changing the way it handles live streams. Instead of deleting footage after the first 24 hours of availability, as was the previous behavior, broadcasters now have the option of retaining them indefinitely. Starting a video stream with the #save hashtag in the description triggers a recording — post-broadcast, it’ll remain available on Periscope users’ profiles and within tweets to which it was linked. You can still choose to delete live-streamed sessions or set them to disappear by default, of course, but crucially, the enhanced archival option brings Periscope to parity with competing offerings from Facebook and others.

The impetus for move away from a 24-hour window, said Beykpour, was evolving perceptions — and a growing acceptance — of spur-of-the-moment, spontaneous broadcasts. “At the time we had started Periscope, people hadn’t really embraced live video,” he told the Verge. “It felt like this incredibly stressful activity — why would I put myself on stage around people?” But since then, Beykpour believes, users have “moved past that world.” He said, “We’re frankly shocked the world evolved that quickly — but that’s great.”

Economics was another likely motivator. Logistically, ephemeral video presents a barrier to monetization, and while Periscope’s so far refrained from putting any form of advertising in front of its legion of eyeballs, Twitter sees an opportunity for monitization in the service’s maturation. It recently hired Evan Hansen, former editor at Medium and Wired, as editor-in-chief, a role that Periscope said will involve cultivating partnerships with media organizations and building new narrative products.

The service’s final big feature addition, support for DJI’s popular remote-controlled quadcopters, will no doubt play a part in attracting the attention of said organizations. The Chinese company’s Phantom Inspire, Phantom 4, Phantom 3 Professional or Advanced models can now stream footage on the service directly (the Periscope smartphone app on your phone acts as a remote control, letting you pan, tilt, and zoom from ground level). The new feature, in tandem with Periscope’s GoPro integration, promises an untold level of freedom for well-equipped broadcasters: You can switch seamlessly between a GoPro or Phantom camera during live streams.

If Periscope’s announcement seems timed conspicuously after Facebook’s expansion of live video streaming, that’s because it is. In fact, the new features — search, long-term video archival, and DJI Phantom integration — read like a laundry list of responses to Facebook’s relaunched Live service. Live features a robust search function that highlights streaming sessions from friends and around the world. Live allows you to save elapsed broadcasts. Live’s API is open to third-party developers and camera makers.

Importantly, though, Periscope’s favored organic growth in the sense that it, unlike Facebook, doesn’t pay broadcasters for content. It managed to hit 200 million broadcasts in the first quarter of this year that way, but time will tell whether the approach can withstand its competitors’ investments.

Movies & TV

The Mandalorian snags Taika Waititi as the voice of a classic Star Wars villain

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.
Movies & TV

Netflix confirms it won’t be a part of Apple’s new video-streaming service

Netflix has confirmed that subscribers to Apple's new video streaming service won't have the option to view Netflix content on it. Apple is set to unveil its new TV service next week.
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.