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[Update: Confirmed] Here’s why Twitter may shut down Periscope live streaming app

Amid the expansion of its video/audio features in the Twitter app and increasing competition, it looks like Twitter may be planning to retire its live broadcasting app Periscope.

Update 12/15: Periscope has confirmed in a tweet and blog post today that it will be shutting down in March 2021. The company described how the service isn’t sustainable and hasn’t been for a while:

First off, we want to be transparent about why we’re making this decision, especially to those of you who are active and passionate users of Periscope today. The truth is that the Periscope app is in an unsustainable maintenance-mode state, and has been for a while. 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. Leaving it in its current state isn’t doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter. We still believe in the power of live video to solve impactful problems, which is why we’ve brought most of the core capabilities of Periscope into Twitter. 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. We’re sharing our decision with you now because we want to be transparent and honest about where we’re at and what’s next.

While Periscope will remain live until March 2021, it won’t be accepting new users starting with the next app update:

We’re planning to remove Periscope from the app stores by March 2021, but no one will be able to create a new account in-app starting with the next release. Broadcasts that were shared to Twitter 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 2021. You can find more info here about what will happen to your Super Hearts and broadcasts, how you can go live on Twitter going forward, and more.

Read more about the shutdown here.

The skilled Jane Manchun Wong discovered some hidden code in the Twitter app that hints about the shutdown of Periscope (via TechCrunch). The specific string is “ps_app_shutdown_learn_more_url” and the link is for Twitter’s Periscope FAQ.

After launching its Stories-style feature Fleets, Twitter is also working on real-time audio chats. Jane highlights that shutting down Periscope may be due to Twitter acquiring Squad which specializes in audio and video chat.

All of this work brings new video and audio features inside of Twitter, that’s in contrast to Periscope which has existed as a separate app for live video.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.