To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Up Periscope! Twitter’s latest video venture

Twitter acquires live video streaming service. Is it bad news for rights holders?

Twitter has bought live video streaming service Periscope – a move that could eventually drag the social network into further confrontation with rights holders. Twitter has reportedly spent in the region of $50 to $100 million on Periscope, an impressive sum considering the app hasn’t been released into any of the mobile app stores yet. Periscope is still in closed beta, with new users being added on an invite-only basis, but clearly Twitter has seen enough to be convinced of its potential. 

Indeed, live video streaming apps are becoming increasingly popular. Rival Meerkat, which allows you to beam a live video stream to all of your Twitter followers, is riding high in the App Store charts. Periscope reportedly offers a similar feature set, quickly turning anyone into a live broadcaster. 

Follow @ExpertReviews on Twitter here!

Whilst live video streaming has obvious applications in reporting live news, broadcasting events and socialising, it has some other potential uses that could be more problematic for Twitter. Such services have the potential to be abused for the streaming of live pornography, for example. Streaming public events such as music gigs and football matches could also land Twitter in deep water with rights holders.  

Last year, the Premier League warned football fans not to post clips of goals or other live football action using Twitter’s Vine video app, which allows you to publish six-second video clips. The Premier League said it was working with Twitter to quickly remove infringing material. The Premier League and sports broadcast rights holders are already embroiled in a constant battle with live streaming sites, constantly issuing takedown notices to prevent matches being unofficially broadcast over the internet for free.

Twitter recently added a video facility to its mobile apps, allowing users to shoot and host up to 30 seconds of footage using the service. Those videos can also be embedded into websites, moving Twitter into direct competition with Google’s YouTube. 



Read more