When it comes to live streaming, the viewer contributions are pretty light. In Periscope, you can drop a comment of leave a floating heart icon, but there isn’t a deep way to contribute to a stream. Today, Twitter is rolling out a change to Periscope that hands broadcast viewers the microphone, allowing a video stream to bring audio-only call-ins from the audience.
To answer your first question, yes, Periscope is still around. To answer your second question, the streamer has to hand the microphone over to individual users, it’s not a free-for-all audio call, that would be unimaginably awful.
The feature seems to be a way to bring out deeper interactions with a streamer’s audience. The commenting systems on a lot of these live platforms turn into an indecipherable wall of text for most users even if the streamer is able to keep up with them, therefore the dialogue really ends up moving in whatever direction the broadcaster deems.
In September, Periscope launched a feature that allowed users to serve up audio-only broadcasts, it was an interesting foray into a sort of live podcast, but this latest feature seems to be building that out a bit, bringing conversations with unseen participants to a standard periscope stream.
This feature brings a sort of talk radio vibe that can give a viewer an opportunity to really become part of what’s happening or contribute to the broadcast.
Twitter maintains that this feature sits firmly in its experimentation phase, but they want to see how Periscope users respond so they’re sending it out to all iOS and Android users. On desktop you’ll still be able to listen to the streams but you can’t participate just yet.
The company says that it’s looking to bring video-sharing to this feature and is flirting with these audio call-ins coming to the main Twitter app at some point in the future as well.