Broadcasting live video has taken center stage and developers are hustling to come up with cool new features to support it. Sometimes they have to copy from one another.
Periscope is now testing a new Sketching feature in which broadcasters can draw doodles on top of any live video stream. Sounds a lot like Snapchat’s doodling feature that’s been popular for the past couple of years, doesn’t it?
Related: Facebook wants you to ditch Periscope and watch live video in its News Feed
There are a number of color choices and there’s even an eyedropper tool to select a particular color from anything you’re filming. Sketches will only remain on the video feed for a couple of seconds.
The Next Web’s Matt Navara tweeted an example of Sketching in action.
Sketching will be perfect for when broadcasters need to point out key areas of the screen that viewers should pay attention to. You can imagine it being especially useful for an eyewitness report in which a broadcaster is describing certain events that happened previously.
This new feature is being tested with a handful of users, but it will be available for everyone soon. Snapchat told Tech Radar, “We’re testing Sketching with a small group of people. This feature makes it fun and easy for broadcasters to draw on the screen while broadcasting. Coming in a few weeks for everyone!”
Periscope, owned by Twitter, is in a battle with Facebook Live for live broadcast supremacy. While Periscope has been around longer, Facebook has the upper hand because of its tremendous user base. Twitter only has about 300,000 active users, whereas Facebook has well over a billion. So Periscope needs to do everything it can to distinguish itself from Facebook Live.
Although Facebook Live doesn’t offer anything similar for its live videos, it’s probably only a matter of time. Last year, the social giant launched Doodle for photos, so it’s likely to do the same for videos. In the meantime, Facebook isn’t sitting still. A new Videos tab was launched last week, making it easier for users to find live feeds.
Related: Periscope broadcasted equivalent of 110 years of live video in its first anniversary
We’ll let you know when Periscope’s Sketching feature becomes available to all.