For the secret to Periscope's "magic," look no further than Commander Chris Hadfield, the astronaut famous for performing "Space Oddity" aboard the International Space Station, Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour said Wednesday.
He said Hadfield demonstrated the real value of Periscope when he performed an impromptu rendition of the David Bowie number on request during a recent broadcast on the live streaming platform.
"That was mind-blowing. Everyone knew he's probably capable of playing the song, but one of the viewers made that happen because they asked," Beykpour said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley." "The magic experience of Periscope is not knowing that it's live. It's knowing that you can affect the experience by just asking a question."
Twitter purchased and launched Periscope in March after the start-up showed off its live-streaming service at South by Southwest earlier this year. The app allows users to broadcast live streams directly from their smartphones to social media.
To be sure, live streaming is not a new technology. Desktop platform UStream was founded in 2007, and Google spent nearly $1 billion last year to buy Twitch, a popular service that lets gamers broadcast their gameplay.
However, a number of developments have converged to make now the right time for a product like Periscope, Beykpour said. Chief among them are the penetration of smartphones around the world, software and hardware advances, and an appetite to share content in a way that people couldn't just six years ago, he said.