Twitter Relaunches Periscope, Video Complements Service

That didn’t take long.

Just weeks after confirming the acquisition of Periscope, Twitter has relaunched the live-streaming app under its little blue wings.

The new app lets users share and experience live video directly from their mobile devices. The press of a button notifies followers that one is streaming video live, from which point viewers can influence the broadcaster by sending them messages, and expressing their “love” by tapping their mobile screen to send hearts.

“We think it’s a perfect complement to Twitter,” Kevin Weil, vice president, product at Twitter, says in a new blog post.

Marketers said Periscope and rival streaming services present some interesting opportunities.

“While we’re currently seeing low quality test-and-learn content flooding our newsfeeds, we’ll begin to see better live branded experiences as brand strategists and creatives experiment with Periscope and explore its possibilities,” said Matt Wurst, VP and General Manager of Social Media at 360i.

Seen as essential for driving more user engagement -- not to mention ad dollars -- video is clearly a priority for Twitter. Following Facebook's lead, Twitter just began testing auto-play video ads among consumers with iPhones and other iOS-supported devices.

Earlier this month, the microblogging giant rolled out an embedded video widget for publishers. With the widget, publishers can highlight Twitter-hosted video on their sites. The new feature relies on the same JavaScript used to render Tweet buttons and embedded Tweets.

Long a growth engine for digital advertising, video has become increasingly key to the fortunes of social giants like Facebook and Twitter. Indeed, video will drive Twitter’s advertising business in 2015, according to a recent report from the equity research team at J.P. Morgan.

In 2015, “Twitter … will likely become an increasingly important form of engagement for brands given the ability to communicate with consumers in real-time and now to utilize video more effectively on the platform,” the team at J.P. Morgan predicted.

Despite its promise, Twitter only recently introduced a video platform. Videos can be 30 seconds long and be uploaded, edited and shared directly from Twitter’s flagship platform.

At least on the surface, rivals say they welcome increased competition from Twitter and other video newcomers. At a recent industry event, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content, estimated the digital video market to be worth between $200 billion and $400 billion -- more than enough to go around, he said.

While estimating that a more modest $7.7 billion will go to digital video, this year, eMarketer suggested that 2015 is shaping up to be the year that social and video truly converge.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports put Periscope’s sale at somewhere $50 million to $100 million.

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