Special Feature

Twilio unveils new tools for live audio and video streaming

Twilio Live advances the company's efforts to evolve from a communications platform to a customer engagement platform.

Twilio on Wednesday launched a new cloud-based platform to help businesses embed live, interactive audio and video streaming into their applications. Twilio Live, now available in beta, is the latest offering for businesses that are stepping up their use of streaming services in the post-pandemic environment. 

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Twilio already offers a bevy of communications services, but its roadmap makes the company more of a customer engagement platform. The new streaming tools will help those efforts, Twilio says. 

In the company's most recent State of Customer Engagement Report, 98 percent of businesses said that video communication with customers accelerated more than other channels during the pandemic.

"The rise of virtual experiences and the popularity of platforms like Clubhouse and TikTok have signaled that the next big channel for customer engagement is live audio and video streaming," Hakim Mehmood, GM of Voice and Video at Twilio, said in a statement. "Twilio Live gives businesses the building blocks they need to create personalized experiences for their communities and interact with millions of customers in a fresh and exciting way."

A number of other communications vendors have also taken note of the streaming trend. In May, Zoom announced new tools for hosting virtual events. Last month, Cisco rolled out a revamped Webex that includes tools for live, large-scale events. Last year, LinkedIn rolled an offering combining LinkedIn Live with LinkedIn Events.

Twilio says its product stands out because customers can easily custom fit their audio and video experiences to their specific brand, while delivering those experiences at scale with low latency. Twilio Live is designed for a broad range of industries, including retail, education and gaming. 

The social platform Reddit is using Twilio Live to develop its upcoming live audio feature, Reddit Talk. Meanwhile, the virtual event platform Welcome is building bespoke livestreaming features on top of Twilio Live for its customers.

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