Dec 16, 2020 - Technology

Twitter shuts down live-streaming app Periscope

Twitter

Twitter on Tuesday said its shutting down Periscope, the live-streaming app that it acquired in 2015 for $86 million. It's planning to remove the app from app stores by next March.

Why it matters: Live video streaming is today a common and popular feature among most social media apps. Periscope and its rival Meerkat, which was also released in 2015, were two of the first live-streaming apps to be introduced in the U.S.

Details: Twitter said in a statement that it's sunsetting Periscope because the app has seen user declines for a while and the cost to maintain it is no longer justifiable. Most of the core capabilities of Periscope have been built into Twitter at this point, anyway.

  • Periscope was a separate app that users could download and link to their Twitter accounts to broadcast live video to Twitter.

By the numbers: To date, Sensor Tower estimates that Periscope has seen more than 101 million installs globally from across the App Store and Google Play. The U.S. is its largest market, accounting for 19.6% of all lifetime installs.

  • That's a relatively small number compared to rival social media apps that have launched in the past few years, like TikTok, that include live video as part of a larger set of video creation tools.

The big picture: Stories like Periscope's exist all through Silicon Valley. Tech giants acquire upstart apps and merge their tech and talent into their own products before shutting them down. Twitter's current product lead, for example, is Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour.

  • But Periscope's story is notable because of how long Twitter made the standalone app available to users after its acquisition, even after it became clear that it wasn't growing.

Flashback: Twitter acquired Vine, another short-form video app, in 2012. As with Periscope, the company purchased the app before its official release. Twitter shut down Vine in 2016.

What's next: Twitter says that broadcasts that were shared to Twitter from Periscope will live on as replays, and all broadcasters will be able to download an archive of their Periscope broadcasts and data before the app is removed in March.

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