Twitter iOS and Android users can now start live broadcasts via the flagship application and invite up to three guests to join them on an audio-only basis.
The same functionality was added to the social network’s stand-alone Periscope livestreaming app in February.
Twitter said in a blog post, “We’ve learned how valuable the audio experience is for people to discuss topics they care about, because when you can chat live together, it’s more fun. We’re thinking about ways we can add video, too, but for now, check it out and go live with guests on Twitter.”
Ebony Turner, who works on product communications for Twitter, said in an interview that the social network found that people felt more comfortable talking to each other on live broadcasts via audio-only, adding, “They might not be camera-ready, or ready to show their face in real-time.”
She said of adding the feature to Twitter, “We felt that there was a unique use case for this on Twitter—cultural moments, real-time moments, people want to bring their tweets to life. The friction is not there anymore where they don’t have to start a whole new account.”
As for Periscope, Turner maintained that the stand-alone app isn’t in danger despite the extension of this feature to Twitter’s flagship apps.
“Periscope will always have creators and broadcasters that love it,” she added. “Such a rich community of people who have been using Periscope—they’re not going anywhere.”
Twitter shared instructions for using the new feature in its help center.
To go live with guests:
- Open the camera by swiping left from the timeline or tapping the camera button from the tweet composer.
- Tap the Live mode at the bottom.
- To allow live viewers to request to join your broadcast, tap the faces icon on the upper right.
- Tap “Go Live” to begin your broadcast.
- When a viewer asks to join, a notification will appear in the chat. You can also view the call-in list by tapping the faces icon to see every viewer who has requested to join.
- Tap the plus sign to add them to the broadcast. There will be a five-second countdown before they join.
- To remove a guest from the broadcast, tap the X on the top right of their avatar.
To join a live broadcast as a guest:
- While watching a live broadcast that has guests enabled, tap the faces icon, and then tap “Ask to join.”
- The broadcaster must approve your request to join as a guest.
- Once accepted, a five-second countdown will appear onscreen before you are added to the broadcast. If you choose not to join, tap “Cancel.”
- Your audio will be heard by all viewers of the broadcast.
To leave the broadcast as a guest:
- Tap on the faces icon on the bottom and select “Hang up,” or tap the X at the top left of the screen.
- When you leave the broadcast as a guest, you can continue to watch the live broadcast as a viewer.