Periscope goes wide with new 'Landscape' streaming feature

The popular live-streaming app's new mode allows users to watch broadcasts without having to tilt their head sideways.

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
2 min read

Live-streaming app Periscope is taking a wider view of video that may relieve some tension in users' necks.

The Twitter-owned app on Thursday unveiled a new "landscape" mode for iOS, Android and the Web that can be used to capture video in either the original "portrait" mode or tilt their phone sideways for full-screen images. The new feature allows users to both record video in a wider angle than before and watch video shot sideways without having to tilt their heads to the side.

"When we first launched Periscope, we only supported portrait-mode broadcasting," the company said in a statement. "As much as we're fans of portrait video, we know that there are many times where the scene you're trying to capture is best expressed in landscape. We know the community has been craving this feature, but we wanted to be thoughtful about our approach to ensure a seamless experience across all of our platforms."

Periscope's new "landscape" feature allows users to watch full-screen live streaming by turning their mobile devices horizontal. Periscope

The new landscape feature underscores Periscope's efforts to attract more users to the popular streaming app, which now counts 10 million users since its debut in March. Overall, users are watching about 40 years worth of video per day, Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour said last month. Also known for its streams that stay watchable for up to 24 hours after posting, Periscope is reportedly secretly building an app for Apple TV that would allow users to watch live streams on their televisions.

Apple on Wednesday unveiled an updated Apple TV streaming-video box that includes an app store. A Twitter spokeswoman had no comment on Periscope's possible role.

Also Thursday, Periscope announced other new features for users including identifying who shared a broadcast with them, more accessibility for the visually impaired and the ability to share a private broadcast with a select group of followers.

Beykpour said during a session on the app-discovery website Product Hunt last month that the company is following its gut and getting feedback on how to improve Periscope.

"There are features we just care deeply about experimenting with either because they feel right, or directionally they bring us closer to where we think the product should go," he said, adding that feedback from users is important. "Right now our focus for Periscope is staying true to why we started the company in the first place: to show the world through someone's eyes."