Twitter, by virtue of Periscope — a company it owns — is rolling out a new 360-degree live video streaming feature, although only a small group of popular users will be able to start broadcasting via the new tool.

Twitter's 360-Degree Live Video Feature

The new feature complements Twitter's recent integration of Periscope onto its mobile apps for Android and iOS, enabling users to initiate live video streaming right from the app's compose screen instead of being whisked away to the standalone Periscope app.

"Starting today, you'll be able to join live 360 videos on Periscope and Twitter from some incredible broadcasters  — getting front-row access at exclusive events, traveling to places across the globe, and getting up close with well-known personalities," the company said via Medium.

Anyone can start watching 360-degree live videos on Twitter today, although broadcasting is limited to select users for now. The 360-degree videos will be marked with a "Live 360" badge.

Twitter's progressive refinements to its livestreaming front is wise, given the medium's soaring popularity of late. The feature will roll out to other users soon, but Periscope has opened up a wait list for those who want to be notified when it lands.

Twitter's Next Direction

Live video is seemingly the next step for Twitter as 2017 reaches shore. The company has recently struggled to keep its foothold firm, having been the subject of a major acquisition of late, shopped around for possible acquirers before being pushed at the back of the bus when a potential company backed out from purchase.

As Twitter attempts to identify its trajectory for the new year, it's trying to release yet another service, and this time, it's 360-degree video, which is an organic extension of its microblogging platform.

Livestreamers will need to attach a 360-degree camera onto their phone to start a broadcast. For the uninitiated, 360-degree video allows viewers to pan around a broadcaster's given surroundings, dragging the environment around to the get the space's full scope, which is a fun and immersive way to engage audiences.

Don't expect to see a flurry of 360-degree live video on Twitter yet, however, because of the feature's present limitations. But if Twitter does this right, it could attract brands and organizations who have turned to other platforms for the same service, such as Facebook, which hosts a similar feature.

Although the idea is a bit of a stretch, it's possible that the new feature could bleed onto other ventures, as Twitter's official announcement was penned by Alessandro Sabatelli, the company's Augmented and Virtual Reality director. Could Twitter's 360-degree live video support virtual reality headsets down the road? It's too early to say for now, but such a notion is certainly possible.

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