Periscope Updated With ‘Themed Hearts’ for the Holidays

These themed hearts will appear in streams with specific hashtags in the title.

Periscope has announced the release of new ‘themed hearts’ for the holiday season, which users can enable in their streams by adding one or more specific hashtags to the title of their broadcast.

For the holidays, these hashtags include, but are not limited to, #Christmas, #Snow, #NewYear and #Hanukkah. While watching one of these tagged streams, themed hearts, like Christmas trees and snow flakes, will appear ‘sporadically’ alongside normal hearts.

In a statement, Periscope designer Tyler Hansen explained:

When we were originally building Periscope, we experimented with emojis and other symbols instead of hearts in beta, but decided it made more sense to keep it simple. We tried our first themed heart last Halloween when we created bats and found that people loved it. We’ve seen that, once a themed heart is discovered, it gets noticed and spreads to many other broadcasts within minutes.

We’ve been experimenting with this for a while. Originally, we tied the themed hearts to the holidays and enabled it for everyone, but as we grew and expanded internationally we realized that wasn’t scalable. Instead, we’ve been working to create a fun experience for users that will surprise them—that’s why there isn’t a database of available themed hearts. We want people to go out and discover these themselves. Without revealing too much, I’ll say that there are a few hidden hashtags that no one has discovered yet (hint, hint). And we’ve got a lot of exciting stuff planned for 2016!

Periscope is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Readers: Have you recently spotted any holiday-themed ‘hearts’ in live streams on Periscope?

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