Comcast Opens ‘Xfinity Share’ Floodgates

After a debut in May that limited access to X1 subs, Comcast said all customers can now tap into Xfinity Share, the company’s new live streaming app that shares some similarities with Meerkat and Periscope.

The move vastly broadens the availability of Xfinity Share, which uses  WebRTC, an open Internet standard that supports real-time communication via Web browsers.

Update: All Comcast subs can now use Xfinity Share on mobile devices  (the app is offered on iOS (opens in new tab) and Android, and the new 3.0 version enables users to record live streams), and they can use the platform to send photos or videos to the TV, though the latter group will need Comcast's  X1 service (with a DVR) to watch the stream or receive photos and videos on the TV. Xfinity Share currently lets customers share content on a one-to-one basis, but has plans to let customers send content to up to five people at the same time. 

“Starting today, every Xfinity customer - video, Internet, voice, and home - can use Xfinity Share to live stream and send photos and videos to a TV,” Patti Loyack, vice president of communications at Comcast Cable, said  in this blog post. “They can also use the app to send or receive live streams, photos, and videos on a mobile device. To watch live streams or receive photos and videos from Xfinity Share on the TV, consumers will still need to have X1 DVR capable set-top boxes.”

While Xfinity Share shares mobile traits with Periscope and Meerkat, Comcast bills it as the first live streaming app that lets users deliver that content directly to the TV.

Loyack noted that the spring debut limited access to a smaller subset of customers so Comcast could learn how people were using it.

“So far, our data has shown a huge uptick in Xfinity Share usage on weekends and holidays when people are more likely to share big events – weddings, vacations, and graduations – that deserve to be viewed on the big screen. Plus, the majority of people who tried Xfinity Share are repeat users,” she noted.  “By expanding the number of eligible users to the millions, we can’t wait to see how people will use it next. We’re also working on adding new features that will make the overall Xfinity Share experience even better.”

Comcast hasn’t released more detailed usage figures. According to Google Play, the Xfinity Share app has been installed between 50,000 and 100,000 times.