Twitter on Wednesday began streaming 360-degree video, allowing users to interact and get behind the scenes of live broadcasts. “Starting today, you can check out live, interactive 360 videos from interesting broadcasters and explore what’s happening with them,” Twitter’s Alessandro Sabatelli said in a blog post. “You’ll be able to get an inside look with well-known personalities and go behind the scenes at exclusive events.”
The first such video was delivered over Twitter’s live Periscope application from broadcaster Alex Pettitt, showing a Florida sunset, while allowing users to see it from different angles by clicking on the stream. “With 360 video on Periscope, you can experience moments with the broadcaster and take a look around – it’s one step closer to actually being there,” the Periscope team said in a blog post.
“Starting today, you’ll be able to join live 360 videos on Periscope and Twitter from some incredible broadcasters – getting front-row access at exclusive events, traveling to places across the globe, and getting up close with well-known personalities.”
Earlier this year Facebook began streaming 360-degree videos, which require a special set of cameras to capture surroundings. Twitter said it was testing 360 broadcasts “with a small group of partners,” and will be rolling out the feature “more broadly during the coming weeks.”
“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,” the Periscope team said. “With these videos, the broadcaster anchors the experience so you can be present with them from whatever environment they’re sharing from.”
Twitter is a free social networking microblogging service that allows registered members to broadcast short posts called tweets. Twitter members can broadcast tweets and follow other users’ tweets by using multiple platforms and devices. Tweets and replies to tweets can be sent by cell phone text message, desktop client or by posting at the Twitter.com website.
The default settings for Twitter are public. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, where members need to approve social connections, anyone can follow anyone on public Twitter. To weave tweets into a conversation thread or connect them to a general topic, members can add hashtags to a keyword in their post. The hashtag, which acts like a meta tag, is expressed as #keyword.
Tweets, which may include hyperlinks, are limited to 140 characters, due to the constraints of Twitter’s Short Message Service (SMS) delivery system. Because tweets can be delivered to followers in real time, they might seem like instant messages to the novice user.