You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Twitter Launches Periscope Live-Streaming Video App

Twitter has launched live-streaming video app Periscope, developed by the startup it bought earlier in 2015 for a reported $100 million, upping the battle with overnight mobile-app streaming sensation Meerkat.

“We think it’s a perfect complement to Twitter, which is why we acquired the company in January,” VP of product Kevin Weil wrote in a blog post Thursday.

The Periscope app is available as a free download for iOS devices from Apple’s iTunes Store. The launch of Periscope comes after Twitter in January upgraded its mobile apps to let users capture, edit and post videos — up to 30 seconds in length — complementing the company’s six-second looping Vine clips.

The sudden mania for live-streaming personal video comes after Twitch last summer shut down Justin.tv, one of the first live-streaming video services on the Internet. Meerkat, which launched last month, quickly captured the attention of the digerati — providing a simple, instant way to broadcast live video to followers. (Twitter responded by cutting off the Meerkat app’s access to the Twitter social graph service.)

See More: Meerkat Madness: The Lure of the App du Jour

Separately, Meerkat has reportedly raised $12 million in additional funding led by venture-capital firm Greylock. Other investors in Meerkat include YouTube founder Chad Hurley; Jared Leto; Sound Ventures; Comcast Ventures; Universal Music Group; Raine Ventures; Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video; WME; CAA; and UTA.

The Periscope app, according to the company, lets users push a button — and inform followers on Twitter that they’re live-streaming video. “We wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation,” the Periscope team writes in a blog post. “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.”

How Periscope or Meerkat will make money, though, remains in question. Neither company has explained the business model for live-streamed video. But already, Meerkat has attracted high-profile experimenters including Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” who has used the service to broadcast behind-the-scenes segments from his show.

Twitter’s new Periscope app could be a long-term “positive game-changer for the company,” Rosenblatt Securities analyst Martin Pyykkonen wrote in a research note Thursday.

“Periscope enables live streaming video from mobile and other devices, which effectively can mean personalized live video content delivery over the Twitter platform,” Pyykkonen wrote. “We think this could have profound implications for usage/engagement on Twitter and be one other challenge for traditional linear media delivery, as users would spend more time selectively watching live-streaming video from people and subjects that they follow as part of their Interest Graph.”

According to Twitter, Periscope requires iOS 7.1 or later and is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. When a live broadcast is over, users can make it available for replays for up to 24 hours. In addition, the Periscope app tracks how many “hearts” (favorites) each broadcast receives from followers.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • The Simpsons

    Disney Plus Will Make 'The Simpsons' Available in Original Uncropped Format in Early 2020

    Eep! After an outcry from “The Simpsons” aficionados, Disney has decided to offer classic episodes of the iconic animated sitcom on Disney Plus in their original 4-by-3 aspect ratio early next year. The streaming service launched Nov. 12 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands with the full batch of “Simpsons” episodes in 16-by-9 HD [...]

  • Verizon Stream TV

    Stream TV Review: Verizon’s New Streaming Device Is One Odd Duck

    Verizon has an answer to Roku, but it’s not talking much about it: The mobile carrier quietly released a new streaming device this week that promises to bring services like HBO, Hulu and YouTube to your TV. Dubbed Stream TV, the device is a solid streamer based on Google’s Android TV platform, albeit with a [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV Full Channel

    Hulu Hiking Price of Live TV Service 22%, to $55 per Month

    Hulu is implementing its second price increase in less than a year for its Hulu With Live TV product — with the base package of 60-plus live channels increasing 22%, to $54.99 per month. The price hike on the monthly base price of Hulu With Live TV will go into effect Dec. 18 for all [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV

    Hulu Live TV Tops Sling TV as No. 1 Streaming Pay-TV Service, Analysts Estimate

    Hulu With Live TV has edged out Dish Network’s Sling TV to take the crown as the biggest virtual pay-television service in the U.S., according to new analyst estimates. They were among the only winners amid the cord-cutting carnage that slashed through the sector in the third quarter. As of the end of the third [...]

  • Mubi India

    Mubi Launches Two VoD Channels in India

    Film specialist streaming platform Mubi launched on Friday in India with two channels, Mubi India and Mubi World. The channels are available together for an introductory offer of INR 199 ($2.75) for three months. Thereafter the channels will cost INR 499 ($7) a month or INR 4788 ($66.75) annually. For Mubi India, a channel dedicated [...]

  • U.K. Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to

    U.K.-Based Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to Future in $30 Million Deal

    Barcroft Studios has been bought by Future in a £23.5 million ($30.1 million) deal. The U.K.-based production outfit specializes in factual fare for channels and platforms, and its own branded channels on the likes of YouTube. Future is a U.K.-listed print and online publishing and events business. Sam Barcroft will stay on as CEO at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content