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Twitter rolls out apps for Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon’s Fire TV
Twitter's TV apps will broadcast live NFL games and Bloomberg shows, as well as Periscope streams, Vine clips and normal tweets.
Thursday Night Football isn’t the only thing premiering on TV this week. So is Twitter.
Twitter is rolling out apps for Apple TV, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Amazon’s Fire TV so that people in certain regions (more on that below) will be able to catch the social network’s live stream of the NFL game and game-related tweets side-by-side on their big screens, the company announced on Wednesday. The New York Times reported last month that Twitter was in talks with Apple about launching an Apple TV app.
Twitter won’t only be broadcasting NFL games through its TV apps. People will be able to watch any of the live programs that the company has been bringing onto its platform over the past few months, including MLB games, NBA pregame shows and Bloomberg News broadcasts. Those broadcasts — which Twitter refers to as “live premium video” to differentiate from Periscope live streams — will feature the same mid-roll video ads in Twitter’s TV apps as will run when watching them on Twitter’s site or mobile apps, and those mid-roll ads will be the only ads appearing within Twitter’s TV apps at launch.
Twitter’s TV apps won’t be limited to live video, or even just video. People can watch Vine clips and Periscope streams and also see blown up on their big screens text- and photo-based tweets from Twitter’s Moments section, which will be called “Today on Twitter” in the TV apps.
People who own one of these devices that hook up their TVs to the internet will be able to watch live streams on Twitter, including Thursday night NFL games, for free and without having to sign up for a Twitter account or connect to their pay-TV accounts.
People watching Twitter on their Apple TVs will be able to select a video clip appearing in the feed beside a live-streaming program and play that clip side-by-side with the live stream. It’s basically Twitter’s version of picture-in-picture. That way, if Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor makes a nutty play Thursday night, Apple TV viewers will be able to watch Vine clips replaying it without missing any live action.
Now for the fine print. Not everyone who owns an Apple TV, Xbox One or Amazon Fire TV will be able to tune into Twitter. Anyone who owns a fourth-generation or later Apple TV will be able to. Any Xbox One owner in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States will be able to. And anyone in the US and UK who owns an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick will be able to. If you don’t fit that criteria but want to watch Thursday night’s NFL game on Twitter, you’ll be able to find it within the Moments section of Twitter’s app or at tnf.twitter.com.