Twitter Is Opening Up Live Video to Take on Facebook

Users can also plug into Periscope, making livestreaming easier

Twitter continues to bet big on video. Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Source: Getty Images
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Twitter is making a bigger bet on video. The microblogging site and its live video app Periscope announced an application program interface, or API, today that makes it easier to to stream video from cameras and other equipment.

Periscope has previously inked deals with GoPro and drones. Now, the company is plugging streaming technology into hardware, software and cameras that let users start a video broadcast without connecting to either the Twitter or Periscope apps.

Telestream, Livestream, Switchboard Cloud, Teradek and BrandLive are plugged into the API. Livestream’s Mevo camera, for instance, uses Wi-Fi and LTE to shoot live footage that can be shared to the Livestream platform, Facebook and now Twitter. Switchboard Cloud’s software lets creators publish to Twitter and Periscope at the same time and also supports YouTube and Facebook.

Facebook opened up a similar API last year that lets third-party developers and cameras connect to the social platform to stream more high-quality broadcasts. YouTube also has been making moves in live video with its YouTube TV subscription package.

Live video has been a big part of Twitter’s road map to get more users to sign up for accounts. Over the past year, the platform has inked deals with the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, so it will be worth watching whether the new API encourages more publishers and brands to push out new content.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.