How To Live Stream On Twitter

Live streaming on Twitter is incredibly popular with brands and users

Woman in a blue dress muting users in the iPhone Twitter app.

 Westend61

Like many other social media apps, Twitter also features a live streaming option which allows you to broadcast video directly from within the iOS and Android Twitter apps.

Twitter live streams appear within the Twitter apps and can be viewed by your followers and the general public while broadcasting and afterwards via an on-demand Twitter video. Similar to live streaming on Instagram, Twitter users can interact with live streams via typing a message in the chat or by using a heart emoji.

How To Begin A Broadcast On Twitter

A live broadcast can be done from within the official Twitter apps for iOS and Android smart devices. A cellular or Wi-Fi signal is required and your account must be public. If your Twitter account is set to protected, you will be unable to begin a live stream.

If you have a lock icon next to your username, this means that your Twitter account is protected. You can change your account to public by disabling the Protect your tweets switch in Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety within the Twitter app.

Beginning a live stream video broadcast in the iOS Twitter app.

Open the Twitter app on your iOS or Android device and tap the compose button.

  1. Tap the camera icon.

  2. Tap Live.

    Beginning a live stream video broadcast in the iOS Twitter app.

    Tap Add location and select your preferred location for the Twitter live stream.

    This location information is used to make your broadcast more discoverable by users in the Twitter and Periscope apps.

    Beginning a live stream video broadcast in the iOS Twitter app.

    Tap What's happening? and type the text you want to go along with your live stream. This could be the title of your broadcast or a casual message to your follows to encourage them to tune in.

    Don't forget to use keywords and hashtags in your description. Both will help your tweet show up in Twitter searches.

  3. Tap Go Live to immediately begin your Twitter live stream.

    While streaming on Twitter, you can tap the three icons in the upper-right corner to turn your flash on and off, change cameras, or mute and unmute your microphone respectively. You can also tap the icons in the lower-right corner to see who your viewers are and to prompt them to follow you or share the broadcast.

    Beginning a live stream video broadcast in the iOS Twitter app.

    When you're ready to finish your live stream on Twitter, tap Stop in the top-left corner.

    Ending and editing a live stream video broadcast in the iOS Twitter app.

    A confirmation option will pop up. Tap Stop broadcast to confirm the end of your live stream or Cancel to continue streaming.

    What Happens To Past Twitter Live Streams?

    When you finish broadcasting with the Twitter app, a recording of your live stream saves to Twitter and becomes available to rewatch on-demand from within the initial stream's tweet.

    This recorded live stream can be edited by tapping on the video within the tweet and then tapping Edit Broadcast. From here, you can rename the title of your stream and even edit the start and end points of the video by selecting specific points on the video timeline.

    Once all of your changes have been made, tap Save Changes to lock them in.

    Changes made to a recorded Twitter live stream can take around 15 minutes to propagate across the social network.

    If you want to delete a previous Twitter live stream, all you need to do is delete the tweet that contains the video. This will delete the video on both Twitter and Periscope.

    Deleting a past live stream from within the Periscope app will not delete it on Twitter.

    How Are Twitter And Periscope Connected?

    The Twitter live stream feature is powered by Periscope, a separate service owned by Twitter that's dedicated purely to broadcasting video.

    While the Periscope live video service is what makes streaming on Twitter possible, the Periscope app isn't needed to begin a broadcast from Twitter and doesn't even need to be downloaded onto your smart device. All of this connectivity happens behind the scenes and is not something the average user needs to worry about.

    While the Periscope live stream app isn't needed to broadcast from Twitter, it can be useful for finding other live streams to watch due to its improved search and discovery features.

    Periscope accounts are identical to Twitter accounts despite the different app name and following a user on one will result in you following them on the other. Periscope live streams will also broadcast on Twitter and vice versa.