Twitter Debuts Live Video From Mobile Apps, Pares Down Vine

With tighter integration between Twitter and Periscope, updated iOS and Android Twitter apps now feature a “LIVE” button on the screen that activates the camera and starts live video. Since Twitter acquired Periscope early last year, it enabled Periscope broadcasts within the Twitter stream, introduced a way to alert a Twitter user when someone you followed began live streaming, and debuted high-end tools for streaming to Twitter from professional cameras and VR headsets. The company is also introducing a pared down version of its previously shuttered Vine.

TechCrunch reports that, in an effort to bring live broadcasts to Twitter, this spring the company “began testing this ‘Go Live’ button in its Android application, noting that it would eventually roll out similar functionality to all Twitter users.” People can join live videos (as on Periscope), comment on the video or send reactions, without the need to have the Periscope app pre-installed.

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Twitter is emphasizing live video at a time when Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all making their moves in the space. “Twitter is a bit behind, having just now fully integrated going live into its mobile applications,” says TechCrunch.

“We started Periscope because we wanted to give people the superpower to share live video with an audience,” said Periscope chief exec Kayvon Beykpour. “Bringing this capability directly into the Twitter app is an important step because it brings that superpower to the hundreds of millions of people who use Twitter.”

Meanwhile, Twitter’s six-second video app Vine is not quite closing down, reports The New York Times. In October, fans were “writing their eulogies” when Twitter said as much. Now, says Twitter, it will “release a pared-down version of its app, in an attempt to appease its avid fans.”

Dubbed Vine Camera, the new app — which will still let people capture six-second looping videos — will be available in January. What’s new is that, rather than posting the videos to Vine, users can share them via Twitter or save them on their phones.

The Vine social network will still be shuttered. Users will be able to download past videos from the app and website, and a Vines archive will also go live. Twitter chief Jack Dorsey emphasizes “a path to profitability in 2017” as a top priority, which made it impossible to maintain Vine’s “infrastructure, employees, content and creator partnerships.”

Twitter had been in talks to sell Vine but, perhaps due to declining usage, couldn’t strike a deal. Vine Camera, hope Twitter executives, is an acceptable compromise for Vine’s many fans.