Twitter has been introducing new features and phasing out old ones in the last few months of the year, retiring Vine and adding new tools in an effort to curb hate speech, even as it weathers a loss of 350 jobs, or nine percent of its workforce, in the fourth quarter. Today, the company is adding a new wrinkle, rolling out a live 360 degree video feature for its Periscope streaming app.
With the new feature, when a user starts a live Periscope video stream, followers can shift their viewpoint by moving their phone or tapping the screen to look around, which the company in a blog post hyped as "one step closer to actually being there." Initially, a small group of partners will be testing its functionality, with a wider release on the way "during the coming weeks."
The addition comes as Twitter brings Periscope further into its core app, having recently allowed users to go live directly within Twitter itself, and follows Facebook's 360 announcement earlier in December.
It also echoes a broader social media industry trend towards live, immersive broadcasts; Facebook has stressed its Facebook Live functionality since rolling it out in April, while Instagram, in an echo of Snapchat, debuted disappearing live videos in November.
Check out the first live 360 Periscope video below.
— Alex Pettitt (@Alexpettitt) December 28, 2016