Twitter has announced that it’ll be shutting down Periscope as a service, with the company set to discontinue the Periscope applications by March 2021. Twitter will, however, continue to offer live video streaming through its integrated Twitter Live feature within the main Twitter app.
“The Periscope app is in an unsustainable maintenance-mode state, and has been for a while,” the company explained in a blog post. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen declining usage and know that the cost to support the app will only continue to go up over time.”
While Periscope won’t be fully shut down until March, the company is already blocking any new account signups starting in the latest update to the apps, which is rolling out today. Users will have the chance to download an archive of both their Periscope videos and their data before the app is shuttered next year. Additionally, the Periscope website will remain active to serve as a “read-only archive of public broadcasts.”
Periscope will also be “relaxing our requirements” for users to apply to become “Super Broadcasters,” the company’s term for select users who are given the opportunity to cash out tips given to them by followers. Broadcasters will have until April 30th, 2021, to finish cashing out their tips.
Twitter bought Periscope back in March 2015 before the service even launched, back in the heyday of live broadcasting (arguably started by Meerkat, a once-viral streaming service that has since pivoted over to developing Houseparty). Periscope would launch later that month, with all of the force of Twitter’s considerable social presence behind it. But for all of Periscope’s popularity at the time, it wasn’t a staying force, in the same way that other live streaming services — like the juggernaut of Twitch — would become.
Twitter would go on to integrate live video into the main Twitter app in December 2016, in a feature that was described as being “powered by Periscope.” According to Twitter, the company has since moved “most of the core capabilities of Periscope” into Twitter Live, with the shuttering of Periscope as a separate service allowing it to better focus on further building out that live streaming functionality in the future.