Twitter is Launching Audio-Only Broadcasting on Periscope



Twitter announced that they are launching audio-only broadcasting on Periscope (on iOS). In other words, they are enabling podcasters to use Periscope as a way to do live podcasts for their listeners. It doesn’t appear that this was Twitter’s intended use for the audio-only broadcasting feature – but that’s how I suspect it will be used.

Richard Plom, Staff Engineer of Periscope, wrote the following on Medium:

Broadcasting with audio only in Periscope is something the community has been asking for, and have been doing already by covering the camera lens. Sometimes people are not comfortable being on camera, but they still want to broadcast and interact with others via Periscope’s powerful chatroom feature. It was requested that we build this feature for #HackWeek, but after some research and focusing on the core of the problem we realized we could get it done in three days.

His Medium post also has a brief explanation of how audio-only broadcasting on Periscope works:

The iPhone microphone produces the audio stream and we continue to use that as-is. The camera produces a video stream that we immediately discard, and instead we create dynamic video animations informed by the audio data that we render on the iPhone in real-time. The audio stream is sent to the audio visualizer renderer which takes the raw audio bits and generates the waveform and volume levels indicator. This new stream is sent to backend instead of the one from the camera.

And, there you have it. Periscope made it easy for podcasters who don’t use video to do an audio-only podcast on Periscope. I don’t think most podcasters will decide to switch to Periscope exclusively as a result of this new feature. But, I can see the Periscope audio-only broadcasts being used as something “extra” for fans to enjoy.