Twitter-owned live streaming service Periscope announced three significant updates Monday: Periscope broadcasts will soon be permanently archived, making it possible for users to watch past shows days or even weeks after their original air date. Periscope is also adding search and discovery functionality, and extending broadcast support to select drones.
Switching to a permanent archive may be the biggest change for Periscope: Ever since its launch a little over a year ago, broadcasts have automatically been expiring after 24 hours. Periscope co-founder and CEO Kayvon Beykpour told Variety during a recent interview that this was in part to remove barriers of entry, and give people a way to experiment with live streaming without a permanent record. “It made it that much less stressful,” he said.
But as broadcasters are starting to attract bigger audiences and put more work into their shows, requests for an archive have increased. Periscopers can still opt to have their shows expire after 24 hours, or delete individual broadcasts after the fact, but shows will be archived by default once these changes go into effect in the coming weeks.
Also coming is the ability to search for shows, as well as a list of suggested hash tags to search for. Some of these are based on hash tags used by broadcasters, but Beykpour also said that the service wants to use smart topics to group related footage together. One example: A topic titled “First Scope” will automatically list any broadcast from a newbie. One could imagine that Periscope could use the same to group broadcasts shot at events. Said Beykpour: “This is just the first step.”
Finally, Periscope is also adding support for live streaming from a DJI drone. Thus far, Periscope users have only been able to stream directly from their phone or a GoPro camera. And even with the addition of drone support, Periscope is notably less flexible than Facebook Live, which added support for a multitude of input methods last month.
“We have been very selective” about third-party streaming support, acknowledged Beykpour. However, he argued that this was in part to build optimal integrations for each streaming source. One example: Periscope users who own a DJI drone can now mix their drone’s video feed with footage from their phone’s camera and even another GoPro feed in real time.
Permanent archives, drone support and search are all coming to Periscope in the coming weeks.