Jack Dorsey has been quickly checking off items from his to-do list since he returned to Twitter as CEO in June. The latest: Periscope, the live-streaming service acquired for an estimated $100 million lastJanuary, Tuesday will finally become more closely integrated with the microblogging service.
What is being called a “fully integrated experience” allows Twitter users to see live broadcasts or reshared Periscope videos within their feeds, just like the Vine short-form video-sharing app. The videos — both live and archived — will play automatically, much like others in Twitter's news feed.
Prior to this update, broadcasters could quickly share a link to their live stream from the Periscope app to Twitter, but that single tweet could easily be missed by a Twitter user. The new function means Twitter users can see a stream without having to download the Periscope app.
When users click on the auto-play video, they will be able to see the Periscope video in full-screen view and see the comments from, and hearts sent by, Periscope users. In order to participate in that conversation, a Twitter user has to download the Periscope app, for now.
Periscope and Twitter view this feature as something that will enrich both app experiences, in part by adding more viewership. “Imagine scrolling through Twitter, reading about Mitch Oates’ underwater adventures. You suddenly find yourself peering through a hole in your timeline out into his world via his live broadcast. This adds a whole new dimension to Twitter,” Periscope wrote in a blog post published Tuesday.
Periscope users have been begging for such a feature:
So, how long until periscope feeds autoplay in your twitter stream?
— Dale E (@dpemmons) September 20, 2015
Wow, getting 20 whole views on Periscope. Seems nobody clicks on the links. Maybe when autoplay embeds happen.
— Damien Mulley (@damienmulley) August 20, 2015
— Factualist (@Factualist) July 28, 2015
Along with the update, Periscope announced that since the launch in March, the app has had over 100 million live broadcasts. In August, Periscope announced via Medium that the app had 10 million downloads and almost 2 million daily active users. In December, Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour said in an interview on CNBC the metric had “well over doubled.”
This change is just the latest move Twitter has made in an effort to improve the experience of users on a service that has had stagnating growth. It's one that Twitter observers have predicted for some time; indeed, some wonder why it took so long to happen. “When I hold a tweet, why doesn’t it go live on Periscope?” Jan Rezab, founder of Socialbakers, a social media marketing company, told International Business Times for a piece on what Twitter should prioritize in 2016.
Last year, Twitter improved the integration of Vine, which the company also purchased, by adding loop counts to Twitter profiles. A feature like that or allowing in-app broadcasting, as Rezab suggested, could be added.
The auto-play feature will first be introduced on Twitter for iOS and later be added to Android and on the web.