Periscope is testing a feature with beta users to allow hand-drawn doodles on top of live video streams, according to The Next Web. Called Sketching, the feature lets the broadcaster paint in an array of colors to bring attention to certain parts of a shot. You can even use an eyedropper tool to select the color of an onscreen object. It's also easy to imagine Periscope users writing out short messages to either communicate with viewers or respond to a scene. Because it's a live stream, the doodles fade away after two seconds or so to free up the frame.
Sketching is reminiscent of Snapchat's hallmark doodling feature, and it shows that Periscope-owner Twitter is paying attention to other platforms' success with ways to make live video more engaging. The experiment seems to have been a success, as Twitter has already confirmed Sketching will soon be available in the public version of Periscope. "We're testing Sketching with a small group of people. This feature makes it fun and easy for broadcasters to draw on the screen while broadcasting. Coming in a few weeks for everyone!" the company said in a statement given to Tech Radar.
#Periscope tests letting you draw on top of live video streams https://t.co/ghAb1oTf9v pic.twitter.com/Obm6qDPC3u— Matt Navarra ⭐️ (@MattNavarra) April 11, 2016
Thanks in part to Periscope and Snapchat, live-streaming became a new social network phenomenon last year. Facebook is now investing aggressively in live video with a dedicated tab in its mobile app, while the immediate success and future potential of the format is leading every competitor to adopt each other's best features. Facebook borrowed Periscope's heart reactions, comment system, and live broadcast map. This time around, it seems Twitter has taken inspiration from Snapchat.