Reports have emerged today that Periscope, an up-until-now fairly unfamiliar start-up, has been acquired by Twitter.
The app, still in closed beta, allows users to broadcast live video streams from their smartphones.
Twitter apparently paid somewhere between $50 and $100 million (£33 to £66 million) for the app. Even though it's still an invite-only service, the social network has obviously seen enough to be convinced into purchasing.
Periscope is an app like Meerkat, a very popular iOS app, allowing live streaming of video content directly from a smartphone to the Twitter audience, turning anyone into a live broadcaster.
With this purchase, Twitter has once again shaken up the ever vigilant ghosts of content rights holders.
This app has huge potential. Streaming events such as protests, personal sports achievements (running a marathon, or climbing a mountain), or anything in between, could help Twitter increase value and grow its user base – something it’s been struggling with for quite some time now.
However, it also means people could live stream events such as concerts or sports events otherwise under rights by different companies.
Twitter was already under pressure by the Barclays Premier League last year, when fans used Twitter’s Vine apps to post six seconds clips of goals and other highlights from games. The Premier League, in constant battle with rogue streaming sites and blogs posting highlights from games, said it was working with Twitter to quickly remove infringing material.
Twitter has also recently added a video option to its mobile apps, allowing users to record 30 seconds videos and post them directly to the micro-blogging site, moving Twitter into YouTube’s territory.