By Melissa Etehad
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Twitter’s embrace of the new live 360-Degree video format is the company’s latest attempt to implement features that will attract new users and, with them, bolster revenue.
Los Angeles Times
Twitter has joined the ranks of competitors such as Facebook and YouTube by adding 360-degree live video streams in the company’s latest move to become a home to more than just 140-character messages.
The feature, made available Wednesday, is limited in scope. While all users of Twitter and its streaming video service, Periscope, can view the immersive virtual reality experiences, only those with specific credentials, such as broadcasters, will be able to use the technology to create their own 360-degree streams.
It remains unclear how users can earn the “broadcaster” title; Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Industry experts say limiting the feature’s release is likely intended to help Twitter better control the type and quality of 360-degree video content. Over time, they say, it’s likely Twitter will open the capability to more users.
Twitter’s embrace of the new video format is the company’s latest attempt to implement features that will attract new users and, with them, bolster revenue. Earlier this year, Twitter rolled out changes to its interface and debuted streaming content deals with sports leagues, including the NFL, which airs Thursday Night Football on the service.
Adding 360-degree video may help Twitter retain existing users and even increase the amount of time they spend on the service. But it’s unlikely that it will attract new users, experts said, unless Twitter can show how the feature can be relevant for a large segment of the population.
Courting new users has become one of Twitter’s biggest problems since the return of Chief Executive and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2015. The company recorded just over 3 percent growth in monthly active users between September 2015 and September 2016.