Twitter's hot Periscope arrives on Android

Popular live-streaming app arrives on Android almost a month after its top competitor Meerkat.

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
3 min read

Twitter is launching its popular live-streaming app Periscope for Android users. James Martin/CNET

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, Twitter is launching its wildly popular Periscope live-streaming app for Android users.

The microblogging service announced Tuesday its broadcasting app, which lets users stream and edit live video, will be available on the Google Play store. Periscope's debut on Android devices comes less than three months after its launch and less than a month after after rival Meerkat appeared on Android.

Periscope has been a huge success for Twitter since its debut on iOS hot on the heels of Meerkat. The social network said Periscope had more than 1 million users within its first 10 days. Periscope's app for Android will comparable features to its iOS counterpart, including allowing users to tweet a link to their broadcasts and have optional location sharing.

The app also will give Android users more specific control over notifications, including when a follower goes lives, shares a broadcast or is followed by someone else. Also, if an Android user leaves a broadcast to answer a text message, they will get a notification inviting them back to the broadcast they were watching.

"It will be unmistakably Periscope with a look and feel that is Android-specific," said Sara Haider, Twitter's lead engineer for Android.

Live video is quickly becoming an important elements for social networks as more people are broadcasting their personal lives -- from celebrating at parties to demonstrating at protests -- on the Internet. There are also potential revenue opportunities as marketers look to how they can make money and advertise with individualized video feeds.

Periscope founder Kayvon Beykpour said he understands the public demand as the startup quickly began working on the app for Android earlier this year. Beykpour said he's been astonished to see the reaction.

"The reception has been overwhelming in the most positive way just by the sheer magnitude of users," he said. "We're seeing people using in ways we never thought of, it's been actually quite mind blowing."

So much so that Periscope came under sharp criticism earlier this month after many users illegally live-streamed the highly anticipated Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match that cost $100 to watch on pay-per-view. Beykpour said they received 66 requests to take down broadcasts and took action against 30 within minutes. The rest were already removed.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo fanned the flames by tweeting "And the winner is...@periscopeco."

Beykpour reiterated prior to Periscope's Android launch that it is operating in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and is working to ensure there are tools in place to respond to illegal streams.

"I'm surprised by how the media wants to continue focusing on the fight, it quite obviously makes for juicy headlines," he said. "It's a totally understandable topic."

Twitter hopes Periscope on Android will be a huge part of its effort to boost user engagement after announcing a surprising revenue shortfall last month. The social network reported sales of $436 million, missing analysts estimates of $457 million. However, Twitter has 302 million monthly active users, up from 288 million at the end of the previous quarter and meeting analysts estimates.