Twitter wants to make it as easy as possible for companies to livestream video on its platform. According to a report from The Information, the company is set to announce next week that it will open up its livestreaming API to allow media companies to livestream to Twitter. This move would let companies use Twitter software directly to livestream video; companies currently have to sign deals with Twitter in order to use this feature or use Twitter’s live video app Periscope.
This would be the biggest effort by Twitter to promote livestreaming on its platform we’ve seen in a while, arguably since the launch of Periscope. Any livestreaming directly to Twitter currently requires planning and negotiations with the company, and Twitter continues to sign deals that bring more live content to the social media site. Last year, the company streamed 10 NFL Thursday Night Football games, it struck a deal to stream over 15 e-sport tournaments this year, and most recently, it signed a two-year deal with the National Lacrosse League to livestream an NLL Game of the Week and additional highlights.
It appears that the new open API for livestreaming directly to Twitter will supplement Periscope. The report suggests the open API would only be available to media partners and not regular Twitter users, so we laypeople will likely be left with Periscope for our daily livestreaming needs.
While Twitter and Periscope already compete with Facebook Live and Instagram’s new livestreaming feature, this change will likely swing Twitter into more direct competition with Facebook Live, which already has a number of companies using it regularly. In addition to announcing the open API, Twitter will also reportedly announce partnerships with “firms that provide back-end services for live-video streaming.”