Why Twitter Live is Good for Marketers

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Twitter recently announced its official answer to Facebook Live by adding live streaming functionality to its native Android and IOS apps. The feature is powered by Periscope technology, but decouples live streaming from the external Periscope app.

Whether this results in a decline in the viability of Periscope in the same way as Twitter introducing short video caused Vine to hemorrhage remains to be seen. But for marketers and users alike, having the ability to seamlessly launch into live streaming is a marked improvement on Twitter's user interface.

For marketers especially, this new functionality allows them to reach their existing Twitter audience, on Twitter, using one of the coolests video formats of the day.

“The move toward adding these new features in general is that marketers are going to have more creative ways to reach people,” said Phil Ross, principal social media analyst at Socialbakers. Ross advised marketers to pay close attention to the advancement of live video on Twitter and in general, and the best way to do that is by using the technology.

“The best thing marketers can do is become personal users. Figure out what kind of unseen innovations come from this technology,” Ross said. “There's a difference between speaking the language, and thinking you can speak the language, and producing the social marketing content equivalent of gibberish.”

And it's through using the technology that marketers can gain insight into its innovative potential. In Twitter's case, one of the most interesting aspects of its streaming functionality is its sketching feature, which allows users to sketch figures and notes with their finger during their live stream—a feature that will surely come in handy in the future, as Twitter's relationship with the NFL matures.

“Being able to sketch on live video, you could see something like… commentators sketching to circle plays,” Ross said. “Any time you have that point-and-draw news table, it will [now] translate to digital. It's updating that TV format.”


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