A new update released today for Twitter's iOS-only livestreaming app, Periscope, means you no longer need a Twitter account to start broadcasting video through the service from your smartphone. While Twitter still recommends you sign up through a Twitter account so it can use your social graphs to find people to follow, new users can now sign up using their phone number instead. The update also makes it easier to reply to comments on live broadcasts, changes the app to show when a streamer blocks a viewer in the broadcast chatroom, and allows both viewers and streamers to change their profile pictures.
Twitter bought Periscope and Niche for more than $86 million
The update, detailed in a Medium post by the Periscope team, comes six weeks after Twitter first released the app onto the market, and two months after Twitter purchased Periscope for an undisclosed amount. Twitter has yet to detail exactly how much it did pay for the video company, but according to the company's recent quarterly earnings report, it bought both Periscope and social media talent agency Niche for more than $86 million combined. Recode reported in February that the Niche deal was worth some $30 million, meaning the Periscope purchase would've cost the social media service around $56 million.
That's pretty cheap, considering how quickly Twitter was able to get its hands on a competent competitor to Meerkat. The original live-streaming app, which had built a sizable buzz in the tech press after a strong showing at SXSW, has since refocused on Facebook integration after Twitter cut Meerkat off from its social graph. Both apps have weaknesses at this early stage in their lives, particularly when it comes to finding interesting streams, but both are changing rapidly to make life easier for viewers and streamers alike.