Twitter Debuts 360-Degree Live Streams

Capping off a year of video investments, Twitter is rolling out 360-degree live streams through Periscope.

“Starting today, you can check out live, interactive 360 videos from interesting broadcasters and explore what’s happening with them,” Alessandro Sabatelli, director AR and VR, notes in a new blog post.

Going forward, when users see a video marked with a LIVE 360 badge, they can interact with it to change what they see by moving their phone or swiping the screen -- all while watching live.

While everyone on Twitter and Periscope can watch live 360 videos, presently only select partners can go live in 360 via Periscope.

For Twitter, the new feature is part of a broader effort to reinvigorate its platform with live video.

Earlier this month, it began inviting app users to create and tweet live video. To go live, users just need to compose a Tweet, then tap “Live,” which will bring them to a pre-broadcast screen where they can frame their shot. When they are ready, users will then have to press “Go Live” to start broadcasting.

Earlier this year, the social giant reached a deal to live-stream several Bloomberg TV shows this summer. Per the pact, Twitter also planned to stream the financial network’s daily market coverage.

This summer, Twitter launched a live-video stream of ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage.

While advertising has been conspicuously absent from Twitter’s Live video page, analysts say that is sure to change. “We expect direct monetization to follow,” Nitesh Patel, a director at Strategy Analytics, noted in a recent report.

Worldwide, revenue from mobile video will reach $25 billion by 2021, according to the Strategy Analytics report. The money is mostly coming from advertisers trying to reach a growing mobile-video audience.

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