Twitter plans to shut down Periscope, the live video streaming app it acquired in 2015, due to declining usage and high costs.
In a blog post wistfully headlined “Farewell, Periscope,” the team running the app disclosed that it has been in an “unsustainable maintenance-mode state” for some time. The end of its run as a separate mobile app will come in March 2021 when it is removed from app stores, though the ability to create new accounts will stop even sooner.
“We still believe in the power of live video to solve impactful problems, which is why we’ve brought most of the core capabilities of Periscope into Twitter,” the blog post said. “We probably would have made this decision sooner if it weren’t for all of the projects we reprioritized due to the events of 2020. We’re sharing our decision with you now because we want to be transparent and honest about where we’re at and what’s next.”
Periscope broadcasts previously shared to Twitter will live on as replays, and all broadcasters will be able to download past videos and data before the app is removed, the company said.
“Although it’s time to say goodbye, the legacy of Periscope will live on far beyond the boundaries of the app itself,” the blog post said. “The capabilities and ethos of the Periscope team and infrastructure already permeate Twitter, and we’re confident that live video still has the potential of seeing an even wider audience within the Twitter product.”
When Twitter acquired Periscope for $86 million along with a social media startup called Niche — the exact valuation of the Periscope deal was not disclosed — it heralded a new age for live streaming. The other booming live video startup at the time, Meerkat, shut down in 2016 but was replaced by Houseparty, which has seen a boom during the Covid-19 shutdowns of 2020.