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Twitter is giving brands a bit more creative freedom when it comes to live video. The company announced the launch of Custom Hearts, a program whereby broadcasters will be able to customize the hearts within their Periscope livestream so it matches their brand. The new reactions are not supplanting the existing hearts, and having them appear is as simple as tapping on the heart button.

Brands currently have to work with Periscope to activate these Custom Hearts. The hearts are also considered part of a campaign, so there’s an unspecified shelf life. The broadcast or accompanying tweet will need to have the designated hashtag to enable these special reactions. Then, when a viewer taps on the heart to express their admiration for the live video, Periscope will select random hearts to be transformed into the branded version.

The first campaign to implement Custom Hearts was NBC Universal’s premiere of The Fate of the Furious movie, for which the hearts were transformed into “F8”. No work is needed on the part of the viewer — it’s just the same experience as before, but instead of hearts, they might see a special icon or image instead. Periscope told VentureBeat that there’s no “rhyme or reason” for how some reactions are hearts and others won’t be.

This is the first time Twitter has opened up creative control to broadcasters around hearts. Previously the company has released special hearts around its birthday and has default ones that show up when someone takes a screenshot, but aside from that, now you’re going to see some additional icons pop up.

As of right now, only broadcasts that are set up directly with Twitter’s team are eligible for Custom Hearts, so don’t think you’ll get something if you put a hashtag in your tweet or Periscope broadcast.

Having special hearts isn’t a significant feature for viewers, but for brands it gives an opportunity to create a custom live video that’s different from other brands, including competitors. Right now all Periscope livestreams look pretty much the same, so customized hearts could be a small but notable distinguishing feature, while also further marketing the brand or campaign.

Twitter said that Custom Hearts will remain present throughout the entire video and can be used alone or combined with Periscope pre-roll ads.


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