Once you have installed Periscope you can begin live-streaming video footage from your camera to anyone who wishes to view it online.
As soon as you start a broadcast an optional alert can be sent to all of your Twitter followers. They can then watch your video live, comment on it and send “hearts”.
It is also possible to “lock” a broadcast so that only certain people are able to view it.
As is increasingly common for new functionality on existing services, Periscope has been launched as a completely separate app to Twitter. Currently it is only available on iOS but an Android version will be released in coming months.
Meerkat, which performs a similar function, was launched on the App Store in March but Twitter has been working on Periscope since before it emerged.
Periscope was created by a start-up which Twitter acquired in January for a reported £67m, and has has been in development for around a year.
Although Meerkat already has a large user base of around 100,000 it is likely that Twitter can use the weight of its existing users to promote Periscope and gain dominance.
Nonetheless, today the company received a reported $12m in venture capital funding, led by Greylock Partners, the group that has also invested in Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The investment would value the company at $40m.
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