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Twitter live streaming plays catch-up with Periscope purchase

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Twitter's recent purchase of Periscope could address the long-standing criticism that the social networking service's conversations exist in a vacuum.

Twitter live streaming could bring more seamless use of the application with other functions. To date, Twitter's lack of integration with other functionality has been a sticking point in making it a go-to enterprise application.

Until Twitter purchased Periscope, the live streaming application, for $86 million in early 2016, it was lagging in video capabilities, which created a drag on its broader appeal for savvy social media users, who like to share a variety of content. Applications like Facebook have been gaining on Twitter with video that is easy to embed on its pages and that doesn't take users out of the Facebook environment.

"It's a point of frustration even to the most casual Twitter user," Robinson said. "When you hit a link, you get taken out," said Scott Robinson, a SharePoint and BI expert.

"It's especially inconvenient in the enterprise," Robinson said. "You want to send information in such a way as to stimulate a dialogue. That's been lacking in Twitter, and it's been a handicap. Now I can stay within the Twitter app and receive comments."

Robinson said that this kind of functionality could finally give Twitter an edge over applications like Facebook, which, while usable, have not gained a foothold in the enterprise.

Robinson added that live meeting platforms such as Citrix Go to Meeting and Skype for Business create expectations surrounding live chat and video conferencing that Twitter live streaming is unlikely to meet. But Twitter needs to come closer to these capabilities for it to become an enterprise-ready tool that is about more than sharing 140-character texts.

"We're used to a business environment," Robinson said. "Several live meeting platforms, that we can power from our laptops, can transmit video. It's possible with no infrastructure, to set up a video conference between six people in their laptops, through the internet, and have everyone see everyone else. That's the standard we're used to. But we're not there yet."

Robinson said that to become truly enterprise-ready, Twitter needs to broaden its integration with other platforms, which means greater API integration. "If Twitter wants to take off in business, it needs to have easier doorways in," Robinson said. "Development of APIs that allow them to nest Twitter in other apps that aren't just straight webpages and that aren't just business apps. It's a strategic direction they have to pursue."

Robinson said Twitter is just embarking on the ready-for-the enterprise path.

"If Twitter wants to continue to thrive, it needs to cease being a novelty and become a serious integrated business tool," he noted. "But they're not there yet."

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