Twitter has bought livestreaming startup, Periscope, for real this time. In fact, In fact, it seems the acquisition happened back in January – it simply hadn’t been announced.
Periscope tweeted out the news at little after 1PM EST.
— Periscope (@PeriscopeCo) March 13, 2015
Twitter re-tweeted the announcement from its official account, to make things extra official.Meanwhile, the Twitter’s VP of Product Kevin Weil offered the Periscope team his greetings.
— Kevin Weil (@kevinweil) March 13, 2015
And just to round things out:
— Sara Haider ? (@pandemona) March 13, 2015
Periscope hadn’t yet officially launched before the purchase – there isn’t even an app the public can try yet – which might explain why it wasn’t announced until now.
It’s interesting timing for the announcement, given the recent meteoric growth of livestreaming app Meerkat. Periscope is supposed to provide similar functionality, yet being part of Twitter offers it obvious advantages.
Whereas Meerkat works by tweeting out links to streams and rerouting users to its own platform, Periscope’s features will likely be integrated directly into Twitter timelines in Player Cards, the way Vine posts work. It’s a distinct visual advantage that’s much more likely to engage users.
There will of course be some differences; TechCrunch reports Periscope streams won’t self-destruct like Meerkat’s, and it allows for both private and public broadcasts.
While there’s also a comment system, these won’t be posted on Twitter. Interestingly, replays will also present comments in sync with when they happened on the original stream.
On the other hand, Meerkat’s Snapchat-like ephemerality could help avoid excessive community overlap with Periscope. Snapchat doesn’t seem to dig too much out of other messaging apps like WhatsApp, after all, yet manages to remain a rapidly growing platform.
Still, Snapchat’s success is partly due to the immediacy of messaging — something which may not directly translate to extended livestream viewing sessions. At least both apps are very yellow.