An expanded role in a key area for Twitter.

Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour is rising up the power ladder inside Twitter.

Beykpour’s role has expanded since the new year, according to multiple sources, and he now oversees all product and engineering behind Twitter’s live video efforts, like its NFL livestreams. This is in addition to his role running Periscope.

COO Anthony Noto is still inking these streaming deals, according to sources, but Beykpour will handle the product side of things. He’ll continue to report to CEO Jack Dorsey, which he has been doing for almost a year since being promoted to Twitter’s executive team.

There are a couple of ways to think about Beykpour’s expanded role.

  1. Twitter still sees live video as a major part of its future, and wants to put a well-respected product exec in charge of the efforts. Twitter insiders like to gush about Beykpour, who is very well-spoken and just 28 years old. Some inside the company thought he might have been promoted to take over the core Twitter app last year. That job was vacant for six months before it was finally filled in December (not by Beykpour). Clearly Dorsey trusts Beykpour if he’s willing to put him in charge of running Twitter’s live video efforts, which were a huge focus for the company in 2016.
  2. The move also raises some questions about Pericope’s future. Successful standalone products typically operate like miniature companies with full-time CEOs — Instagram inside Facebook and YouTube inside Google are a couple of examples. Periscope has primarily operated this way since Twitter acquired the company in early 2015, and even had its own office space down the street from Twitter HQ until late last year. But Periscope made its biggest integration with Twitter in December, and the fact that Beykpour is also going to be focused on more Twitter-specific video efforts could mean Periscope’s future as a truly standalone entity may be coming to an end. For what it’s worth, the company has not laid out any plans to this effect, and declined to comment for this story.

Twitter just finished its first fall season in which it streamed 10 of the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” games. It’s unknown whether or not Twitter will get a similar deal for the 2017 season, but it’s clearly still focused on live video heading into the new year.

In addition to the NFL partnership, which was far and away the company’s most high-profile, Twitter has deals with the NBA, MLB, and Bloomberg.


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Author: Kurt Wagner

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