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Twitter's Periscope Producer takes live streaming to the pros

Content companies can now shoot Periscope videos on professional gear, and not just with a smartphone.

Persicope faces stiff competition from the likes of Facebook and YouTube.

Twitter is stepping up its live-streaming game, offering brands and media organizations a more sophisticated tool for producing and sharing high-quality video.

Periscope Producer goes beyond video shot with a smartphone and lets content companies broadcast footage from professional cameras and streaming software, Twitter said in a blog post Thursday. And they can do it without losing the audience-interaction perks that come with live streaming through Twitter's Periscope app (think hearts and comments).

When it arrived in 2015, Periscope was the gateway for introducing many people to live streaming. But it's no surprise to see Twitter building new features for more-professional video producers, what with the launch of rival service Facebook Live, and existing platforms like YouTube starting to live stream large events with great success.

People already turn to Twitter to react to news and current events in real time. Now they can watch those events on Twitter too.

"Periscope allows anyone to watch something with an audience, and now they're able to watch daily shows, large- and small-scale events and other live video with compelling content from creators they know and love," Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour said in a statement.

Twitter partnered with Bloomberg last month to live stream the presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Facebook and YouTube also streamed the event, with each platform offering slightly different atmospheres for discussing the candidates' remarks. On Facebook, people got to talk politics with their friends and families, but on Twitter the conversations tended to be open, with anyone joining in. During the first debate, this meant schooling the candidates on their tactics.

As well as its Bloomberg collaboration, Twitter has other major content partners on board, including The FA, Sky News, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," Fusion, Louis Vuitton, The News & Documentary Emmy Awards, The Ringer, and Walt Disney Studios.

Twitter is inviting more companies to partner up, take advantage of Producer, and live stream shows directly to the social network's audience.