Periscope will shut down by March, Twitter confirms

Following recent reports, Periscope announced today that it will end operations as a standalone app by March 2021. The Twitter-owned company referred to its current operations as “unsustainable” in an open letter posted today. It also cited a decline in usage in recent years as a driving factor.

“Leaving it in its current state isn’t doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter,” the company noted.

Twitter, which acquired the livestreaming app back in 2015, has been building out its own video offerings in recent months, rendering much of Periscope’s features redundant as a standalone app. A line of code that popped up in the Twitter app last week appeared to point to periscope’s eventual closure. At the time, however, Twitter refused to comment.

Periscope was purchased in its infancy, as Twitter looked to address the rapid growth of competitor Meerkat. Of course, the live video landscape has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years, and eventually it made the most sense to begin to incorporate such features directly into the native Twitter app. But even as livestreaming has grown, Periscope’s own fortunes as a standalone app have been diminishing for a number of years, as the company itself notes.

The company adds that all of this likely would have occurred even sooner, but the worst year ever got in way of those plans. “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 explains.

Sensor Tower notes that Periscope has had around 101 million installs over its life time, including the App Store and Google Play. It also tells TechCrunch, “Year-to-date, Periscope has seen approximately 6.8 million installs globally, down 7% year-over-year from about 7.3 million during the same period from January to December 14, 2019.”

Periscope will be removed from app stores in March, and the ability to create new accounts will be disabled with the next software update. Existing Broadcasts that were shared on Twitter will continue to exist on that app as replays. The company is also offering users the ability to download an archive of their content before it all goes away in March.