Twitter bought the startup behind Periscope in January 2015 in a deal reportedly worth up to $100 million, betting that personal video live-streaming would be a complement to its main social service.
According to Twitter, Periscope has seen declining usage over the past several years — and that, essentially, the cost to maintain it outweighs its value. “The truth is that the Periscope app is in an unsustainable maintenance-mode state, and has been for a while,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Meanwhile, most of the core capabilities of Periscope are already integrated into Twitter, which the company first introduced in the fall of 2016. Users can broadcast on Twitter using the Twitter Live feature within compose by selecting the in-app camera icon. In addition, brands, publishers and creators can broadcast live video on Twitter by using Media Studio.
“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,” Twitter said.
It’s not the first app Twitter has culled from its portfolio: In early 2017, it shut down six-second looping video app Vine after being unable to find a business model, in a dispiriting blow to Vine fans.
Twitter plans to remove Periscope from app stores by March 2021, but it won’t allow anyone to create a new account in-app starting with the next release. Periscope broadcasts that were shared to Twitter will live on as replays (and users will be able to download an archive of their Periscope broadcasts and data before the app is removed in March 2021).
Twitter also is shutting down Periscope’s Super Broadcaster program as of March 31, 2021. That has allowed live-streamers who met certain eligibility requirements to receive “Super Hearts” from fans (purchased via in-app currency) and earn cash from their broadcasts.
“Although it’s time to say goodbye, the legacy of Periscope will live on far beyond the boundaries of the app itself,” Twitter said in the blog post. “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.”