Periscope is shutting down but it’s OK if you forgot it existed

JC Torres - Dec 15, 2020, 6:43pm CST
Periscope is shutting down but it’s OK if you forgot it existed

Unlike its rival Facebook, Twitter doesn’t make a big fuss over acquisitions of former rivals. Like Facebook, however, these new properties eventually make their way into the core features of the social network, ultimately leading to their demise. That was the case with Vine, whose legacy pretty much got buried and overshadowed by the likes of Instagram’s Stories. Now the same fate is befalling Periscope, although it’s a bit surprising that it actually lasted this long as an independent app in an age where live streaming is already the norm.

Periscope’s independence was actually short-lived as it was immediately snapped up by Twitter in 2015. Half a decade ago, live broadcasting, now better known as live streaming, was still a novelty and a rising fad. Today, it’s pretty much a fact of Internet life but the players in that market have been whittled down to a few big ones like Facebook, YouTube, and, of course, Twitter.

It wasn’t surprising that Twitter would want Periscope’s core feature to be part of its own service and that pretty much spelled the latter’s doom. With Twitter having its own live broadcasting feature, using a separate app just for that probably felt more work than necessary, even if it integrated nicely with Twitter. On Periscope’s end, it also meant doing double work maintaining its own code as well as helping Twitter with the feature.

Periscope now reveals that its code has been in a terrible state where it was unsustainable to keep on maintaining it for what users it had left. As such, it has decided to formally discontinue Periscope, at least as an independent app, by March 2021. No new sign-ups in the app will be accepted starting its next update.

Its legacy will live on, it says, but few probably even remember that Periscope was still in operation in the first place. Broadcasts that were shared on Twitter will remain on the Internet as replays but users will have to download their Periscope archives before it shuts down next year if they still want to keep those memories of the past.


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