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Twitter Explore Puts Focus On Live Video But Dismisses Social Commerce

Skift Take

Twitter showed its hand this week when it decided to bury its moments behind a new feature called "Explore". The new feature will focus less on Twitter’s curated moments and more on what’s happening right now. That, of course, includes live video streaming.

Things haven’t been easy over at Twitter. Following an autumn of restructuring and redundancies, this could be a winter of discontent. Not so. Instead, Twitter is alive, kicking and ready to prove its relevance by focusing on live video streaming.

This week, Twitter announced a new feature called “Explore” which will replace and encompass the Moments tab within its apps. Explore puts content discovery front and center, with a focus on realtime events. Hot on the heels of an announcement to “wind down” the “Buy” button, it would seem that former aspirations of becoming a social commerce platform are now long dead.

Twitter Is Just Doing Twitter

Twitter has always been all about what’s happening right now so it seems only natural that it would want to focus on live video. There’s no better way to share a moment. Since acquiring Periscope in 2015, Twitter has been steadily rebranding itself as the go-to platform for live video. With Periscope now fully folded into Twitter’s main mobile app, just about everyone is now equipped to broadcast to the network. This shift towards live streaming right from the device puts the power back in the hands of the user, rather than the curator, as was the case with Twitter’s Moments.

Twitter And High Profile Events

Twitter recently partnered with Dick Clark Productions to bring a unique red carpet experience to people following the Academy Awards on Twitter. With live tweeting and live streaming right from the red carpet, anyone could be there without actually being there. Dick Clark Productions has recently announced that it will be working with Twitter again in the near future to bring more events to the platform including the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards on April 2 and the Billboard Music Awards on May 21.

Twitter has always been a firm favourite amongst event professionals and the shift towards live video should be a welcome one. It is now so easy and cost effective to connect with remote audiences that it seems silly not to. Not to mention that a sponsored live stream could also generate income for your event.

Competition In Live Video

Twitter faces tough competition in the live video streaming space. First there’s the mighty YouTube to contend with, then there’s Facebook. Both Facebook and its sister brand Instagram also offer live streaming straight from the device. It’s clear that Twitter wants a hefty share of this market but whether or not it can take on the might of Google and Facebook remains to be seen. Perhaps Twitter’s natural propensity towards the here and now will be its greatest weapon.

Be Platform Agnostic

The good news for eventprofs is that you don’t have to stick to one platform. You will find that different platforms work better with different audiences but it pays not to have all your eggs in one basket.

Live Streaming From The Desktop

Both YouTube and Facebook now offer live streaming from the desktop. This gives the broadcaster the ability to provide feeds from higher quality camera equipment and myriad other audiovisual sources. It’s not yet clear how or even if Twitter plans to add desktop streaming support.

In Conclusion

Live streaming is fast becoming part of everyone’s agenda and it boasts a whole world of new opportunity for the event industry. There are many platforms to choose from but the barrier to entry is low enough that you needn’t stick to just one. Twitter looks like it’s here to stay and it’s laser focused on live video. It’s going to be an interesting year.