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Twitter embraces livestreaming, confirms Periscope purchase

twitter confirms periscope purchase buys
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Twitter confirmed on Friday that it’s acquired Periscope, a startup that’s working on a livestreaming app for mobile.

Reports last week suggested the deal had taken place, but until Friday neither party had made it public. The terms of the transaction haven’t been divulged.

The software, which hasn’t even been released yet, makes it easy for users to view livestreams or recently recorded video segments. The interesting part will be to see how Twitter integrates the service with its own, with greater integration posing a bigger threat to apps like Meerkat, which lets Twitter users quickly and easily tweet links to livestreams. Meerkat’s popularity among Twitter users has reportedly exploded in recent weeks, so the folks at that startup will certainly be keeping a very close eye on developments.

Twitter’s Kevin Weil announced the move via the social media service. “Excited to officially welcome @periscopo to the Twitter team,” the VP of product wrote, adding, “Can’t wait for everyone to see what they’ve built.”

Periscope also put out a message, saying, “You may have heard some news: It involves a blue bird,” adding later, “You’ll be hearing more from us soon! We’re gradually expanding our beta, which you can sign up for here:

Bringing a livestreaming app into the Twitter family is the latest in a series of moves designed to broaden the microblogging app’s media offerings, taking it away from its text-heavy beginnings.

Previews of Twitter photos, and videos from Twitter-owned Vine, started showing up in timelines in 2013, with research showing such placement encourages more user activity on the service (retweets and the like), an important factor for the company as it seeks to generate more interest among marketers.

In addition, it recently built a video-recording function into the app allowing users to easily create and embed clips of up to 30 seconds in their tweets, while the launch of Audio Cards last October means people can now embed content like songs and podcasts in their tweets. Of course, such features also serve to keep users within the Twitter app for longer, with Audio Cards, for example, allowing people to continue browsing their timeline while listening to the content instead of hitting a link and being taken to an external site.

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Trevor Mogg
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