Twitter-owned Periscope just made a high-profile hire to get the most engaging live streams in front of an audience: The social live video streaming company has hired former Wired.com editor in chief Evan Hansen to help with its curation efforts.
“I still love the written word and Medium, but I honestly can’t think of many things more exciting than helping build a new platform with mobile phones and real time video,” Hansen wrote in a blog post Monday.
Hansen headed the editorial of Wired.com for eight years. More recently, he worked as the editor in chief at Medium, the publishing platform founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. His departure there comes at a time when Medium is deemphasizing original content, and instead pitching itself to publishers and independent authors.
An increased focus on curation makes a lot of sense for Periscope as it aims to capture more eyeballs and fend off competition from Facebook Live. Facebook’s live streaming efforts have been gaining steam in recent weeks, thanks in part to the company’s willingness to spend some serious money on content partnerships with media companies and celebrities alike.
Twitter has tried to hit back with content deals of its own; last month, it was able to strike a deal with the NFL to stream 10 “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts online. Facebook had bit on those rights as well, but apparently balked at some of the rules around ad placements.
But it’s increasingly clear that Periscope also needs to play catch-up on product development to compete with Facebook Live. Facebook has for example given broadcasters and amateur streamers alike the ability to use all kinds of cameras and production set-ups for their live streams. Periscope on the other hand still only streams from GoPros and mobile devices.
Better curation within the Periscope app and on Twitter itself could be another area for Twitter to boost its live streaming service.