Twitter is trying to build a credible living room video platform, and it’s hard to get there without checking Roku off on your list of supported devices. Today the company is doing that with a new app available from Roku’s store, and you don’t need a Twitter account to stream live video. Twitter’s TV-based video app is already available on Apple TV, Xbox One, and Amazon’s Fire TV devices.
The Roku app serves up Twitter’s mix of live video partners — a random soup of sports, news, entertainment, big events, and original content. With the Roku app, you’ll be able to switch between shows whenever multiple streams are live at the same time, and you’ll see a cascade of relevant tweets scrolling by as you watch.
This week, Twitter announced a slew of new programming coming this year. Bloomberg will be doing 24/7 news; there’s also a 24/7 sports “channel” in the works. The company will broadcast WNBA games and a new MLB show (it already streams one baseball game per week), and Live Nation will broadcast some concerts through the app. Oh! And I almost forgot: The Verge will be doing a weekly gadget show, too.
That’s a decent investment for the future, but things aren’t great right now. The number of people I’ve talked to at The Verge who use Twitter’s video app with any regularity is near zero. That’s likely because there’s little coherence to it. Twitter is getting the important devices on board, but it still needs to put forward a product that actually feels important. Not Netflix important, necessarily. But at least something I’ll want on my TV screen every so often.