Twitter can now alert you when someone you follow starts live streaming

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Twitter is increasing its focus on live streaming today with the launch of a new Notification button on its app that lets you subscribe to be alerted when someone you follow starts live-streaming. When you receive the alert, you can immediately join the broadcast with just a tap. The feature works both for alerting users to new streams from Periscope, as well as for content from Twitter’s live streaming partners, such as the NFL.

This feature was spotted earlier this month during testing. However, when BuzzFeed reported on the new addition’s existence, Twitter disabled the button and then told reporters that it was simply “experimenting with different ways to discover live video on Twitter.”

Twitter did not comment on the earlier report when asked about the launch today. However, we’ve confirmed with sources familiar with the new feature that it has now officially gone live for all users worldwide.

The company has also tweeted out on its official account how to go about enabling the new Notification option for yourself.

The company explains that the new button will appear at the top-right of the screen, next to the Follow button on a user’s Profile. You can tap this button to subscribe to alerts from the Twitter user in question. When doing so, a dialog box that appears that lets you choose to receive notifications on “All Tweets,” or choose “Only tweets with live video.” You can also switch off notifications entirely by selecting “None.”

If the account you’re tracking then goes live, you’ll get an alert in the app if you have it open, or sent to your phone via a push notification, otherwise. When you tap the notification, you’re directed to the tweet including the live Periscope video.

Live video is large part of Twitter’s shifting strategy these days. The company has forged deals this year with Wimbledon, the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football, Pac-12 Networks for college sports, CBSN for convention coverage, and Bloomberg for financial news. And today, Twitter and news startup Cheddar announced a similar partnership on a live streaming deal which will see the network’s financial news show “Closing Bell” exclusively stream on Twitter from 3 to 4 P.M. ET, beginning in October.

Twitter’s own live streaming service Periscope, meanwhile, has faced increased competition from Facebook Live Video in recent days, as Twitter continues to struggle with growing its stagnant user base and revenue. Twitter-owned Periscope beat Facebook to market with live video, but in the days since, Facebook has invested heavily in its live streaming feature, with the launch of new creative expression features, an API to help broadcasters use professional equipment, support for two-person broadcasts, waiting rooms and more.

The new Notification button is live now on iOS and Android.

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