Twitter has announced today that it is bringing support for live 360-degree video to the broadcasting service Periscope. The move comes as Twitter continues to heavily invest in live video and faces increasingly strong competition from Facebook and others. Twitter and Periscope outlined the new feature in blog posts.
The feature works much like you would expect it to. When you see a video on Twitter or in the Periscope app with the “Live 360” badge, you can instantly start watching it just like you would any other Periscope live stream. To take advantage of the 360-degree video, simply use your finger to scroll around on the screen or move/tilt your phone.
Periscope touts that Live 360 is “one step closer to actually being there” because it allows you to get a wider look at what the broadcaster is seeing themselves:
Live 360 video isn’t just about taking you to places you’ve never been; it’s about connecting you with people and letting you experience something new with them.
With these videos, the broadcaster anchors the experience so you can be present with them from whatever environment they’re sharing from. When they smile, you’ll smile, and when they laugh, maybe you’ll laugh too.
Twitter has been increasing its focus on live video as it looks for ways to monetize. Over the summer, the Twitter apps on iOS and Android added a new “Live” button allowing users to instantaneously start broadcasting on Periscope.
Currently, live 360 degree video is supported in the Periscope mobile applications, as well as on the desktop. Though, desktop support is limited in terms of browsers, namely in that Safari does not support watching 360 video as of yet.
At this point, broadcasting 360 degree video is not available to all Periscope users as the company is testing the feature with a small group of partners. The company says that the feature will roll out more broadly “during the coming weeks.” Everyone, however, can view 360 degree video right now.