Periscope, for a time, was such an organic and useful way for content creators to *talk* directly to their audience in real-time. Setting up videos, responding to live chat, and watching those hearts fly across the screen made it a popular app over the last few years. But now there’s the word that Periscope is headed to the tech graveyard. Twitter, who owns Periscope, recently announced they’d be shutting down the live video streaming service that’s been on the social media platform for almost five years now.
Twitter’s shuttering of Periscope is apparently tied to the app’s outdated tech and rising costs associated with maintaining a service that technologically wasn’t keeping pace with the rest of the industry. And according to Twitter, the service had been existing simply in “maintenance mode” over the short term with user numbers headed downhill. The double bottom line of decreasing popularity and rising costs probably made the decision a pretty easy one from a business perspective. There’s no point in continuing something that’s headed starkly in the wrong direction.
And though Twitter just announced within the last 24 hours that Periscope would be discontinued, the plans to shutter the service are going to take place rather quickly. Currently, the plan is for Periscope to go dark by March of 2021, just about three months from now.
But don’t worry about losing those hours (and hours and hours) of video streaming you may have done over the years. Current Periscope users will be able to get in to retrieve and download their past content before the service is shut down. And there’s also talk of the past videos existing in a searchable database without the ability to create new ones. It doesn’t look like we’re talking about a MySpace situation where everything just kind of disappeared overnight.
Twitter’s plan isn’t to scrap live video streaming altogether. Where users often used Periscope to broadcast to their followers, that function will now solely be in the form of Twitter Live. It’s not completely the same one-to-one service, but by composing a tweet and hitting “go live” users can begin streaming to their audience.
Twitter purchased Periscope back in 2015 before the latter had even launched. There’s speculation the cost of the acquisition to be somewhere in the $50 million range. More than 10 million people created Periscope accounts within the first year. But those numbers have seemed to tail off considerably in recent years and the active list of daily users appears to be fewer than two million these days.
Twitter’s canning of Periscope isn’t the only thing keeping the social media giant in the news these days. With a Presidential election debate playing out almost daily on the site, it’s had a difficult time reigning in some of the messaging on the platform. And there’s also talk of lawsuits coming down the pike for Twitter and other social media platforms.
For now, people won’t be able to create new Periscope accounts but there are still a few months for legacy users to stream to their heart’s content. But come March, that little teardrop icon will be no more.