Twitter Is Rolling Out Livestreaming 360-Video on Periscope Just Weeks After Facebook Did the Same

But can they keep up with Google?

Headshot of Marty Swant

Two of the most hyped video formats of 2016—livestreaming and 360-degree video—are growing closer and closer together. 

On Wednesday, Twitter announced it's rolling out 360-degree livestreaming to select partners via its Periscope app to allow some users on the platform to share additional angles with their audience. The update also comes just weeks after Facebook announced its own addition of 360 to Facebook Live, which is taking a similar slow release with a broader rollout planned for 2017.

In a Medium post detailing the news, Periscope said it's working with broadcasters to provide "front-row access" at exclusive events around the world with "well known personalities." And while it didn't explain many details about what the events will be or who "well known personalities" might include, the blog post's kumbaya ode to 360-video touted the benefits of users who might want to look around a little more.

"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," according to Periscope. "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."

But when it comes to the live 360 race, Facebook and Twitter are in second and third place. Before either had announced its offerings, YouTube was already up and running with 360 streaming in 4K for any user to try.

However, while live video has somewhat taken off this year both with brands and everyday people trying it out, 360 video has so far been largely limited to major media companies and brands taking their first steps in virtual reality. There's also the problem with needing an addition 360-degree camera for capturing the footage, which are slowly growing in popularity still nowhere near being a household item. 

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.
Publish date: December 29, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT