Periscope Pushes Virtual Gifts

Periscope wants people to start buying “Super Hearts” -- virtual gifts, which they can then use to reward other people’s live broadcasts.

For free, Periscope users can already show their love for live streams with little hearts, thumbs-up icons, and such.

Super Hearts are designed to take this reward system to the next level. Because they can be exchanged for real money, they give popular users incentive to broadcast on Periscope.

Compared to their free counterparts, Super Hearts are larger, animated and, according to Periscope, “more fun to give.”

Before sending Super Hearts, users will have to buy a “coin package” from the App Store or Play Store. A real American dollar is equal to 1,050 virtual “coins.” Users can then buy various Super Hearts, which range in price from 33 to 111 coins.

In an effort to stir up competition among super fans, those who send Super Hearts are automatically added to a “leaderboard,” which will show whomever has given the most love to a particular broadcaster.

To turn their Super Hearts into cash, broadcasters have to join a new Super Broadcaster Program.

Though certainly experimental, Periscope parent Twitter isn’t breaking new ground with virtual currency. For instance the Amazon-owned video platform Twitch already charges users to “cheer” for their favorite broadcasters.  

For Twitter, the new currency exchange program is part of a broader effort to popularize Periscope among publishing and marketers.

To that end, the tech giant recently added an analytics dashboard to Periscope.

Periscope also recently added an Activity Tab, which makes it easier for publishers to track follows, the number of people watching their replayed video, and so forth.

Earlier this year, Twitter also announced plans to start selling pre-roll ads against Periscope video -- or at least those that run within Twitter’s platform.

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