Twilio’s new tools will let anyone add live video and audio to their apps

Twilio, a company best known for its tools that help developers build text message/phone-call-powered apps, is branching out into a new category: livestreaming.

This morning the company announced Twilio Live, a platform meant to help developers more easily integrate live video/audio features into their apps.

Details are still a bit light, but here’s what we know so far:

  • Twilio Live is launching today but in invite-only beta mode — so not everyone will get access immediately.
  • It’ll support iOS, Android and all “major browsers.”
  • In addition to the content streaming tools, Twilio is also building out interactivity features to support things like text chat, audience polling, screen sharing and bringing audience members up as speakers.

We saw a massive rush of Clubhouse clones hit the market after that app’s spike in popularity, with even huge names like LinkedIn, Twitter and Discord rushing to replicate its best features. With Twilio effectively turning that feature set into a plug-and-play SDK here, I’d expect to see a lot more of that.

One of the biggest challenges of reinventing the wheel when it comes to livestreaming is one of scaling; what might work beautifully for 100 viewers could grind to a halt when you have that viral moment that brings a sudden influx of 10,000. Twilio has spent the last decade figuring out infrastructure scaling and latency — chances are, they’re starting on pretty good footing here.

No details seem to be available currently as to how Twilio Live’s pricing will work.