Twitter is in talks with Periscope, a video streaming app, for acquiring the latter for $100 million. The microblogging website is anyway looking at ways to ensure that its bottom line benefits from users who don’t tweet or even login. In that backdrop, a streaming service that allows 11-to-many broadcast (the viewers need to be connected just to the broadcaster via a hosting webservice) makes sense.
However, while Twitter looks to lap up Periscope, there is reason to believe that the acquisition is prompted as much by the success of the Meerkat stream-tweeting model as by other motivations. Meerkat, a streaming service, piggybacked on Twitter’s identity, communication and distribution system—the moment you started a broadcast on Meerkat, an auto-tweet mechanism would tweet at all your followers with the link to your stream. Given Meerkat became wildly popular with this sharing mechanism, there was speculation that Twitter might look to acquire it. But the microblogging site instead reportedly blocked the feature that allows apps to tweet on behalf of people, before, eventually, bringing it back. Now, an aggressive tweeting-streaming model (where every time you tap on ‘stream’, a tweet goes out to all your followers) is a bit too much. But given the activity video-streaming, especially live-streaming, generates, the Periscope acquisition might just be the thing that Twitter needs.