Twitter has announced that it will shut down Periscope as a service, with the company discontinuing the live video streaming app in March 2021. However, Twitter will continue to offer live video streaming via the Twitter Live feature integrated into 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.”
Even though Periscope won’t shut down entirely until March, the company has already blocked new account registrations starting from the latest update to the app, which launched today. Users have the opportunity to download Periscope’s video archive and data before the app closes next year. Also, the Periscope website will remain active as a “read-only archive of public broadcasts.”
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Periscope will also be “relaxing our requirements” for users to apply to become “Super Broadcasters,” the company’s term for select users who are allowed to cash out tips given to them by followers. Broadcasters will have until April 30th, 2021, to complete the withdrawal of their fees.
Twitter bought Periscope in March 2015, even before the service launched, in the heyday of live broadcasts (arguably started by Meerkat, the viral streaming service that has since shifted to developing Houseparty). Periscope will launch later that month, with all the power of Twitter’s social presence behind it. But for all Periscope’s popularity at the time, it wasn’t a standing force, in the same way, that other live streaming services — like the juggernaut of Twitch — would become.
Twitter will further integrate live video into the main Twitter app in December 2016, in a feature it has described as “powered by Periscope.” According to Twitter, the company has moved “most of the core capabilities of Periscope” to Twitter Live, with the closure of Periscope as a separate service allowing it to focus more on building that live streaming functionality in the future.