It comes as little surprise, especially given speculation about the app's future after a discovery in Twitter's back-end code last week. But today, Periscope has confirmed it:
Some personal news: the Periscope app will be going away next year. We’re here to say goodbye. ????— Periscope (@PeriscopeCo) December 15, 2020
We appreciate all the support, learnings, and broadcasts from our vibrant creator community. More on our difficult decision to discontinue the app: https://t.co/jZWjDlsRHk (1/2) pic.twitter.com/Kfgvocq31O
Yes, Periscope, one of the original apps of the 2015 live-stream boom is going away. Superceded by native streaming within Twitter, and seeing declining usage, Twitter says that it can no longer justify supporting the separate app:
"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."
As a result, Periscope will go into retirement as of March 2021, while no one will be able to create a new account as of the latest app update.
"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."
Functionally, this won't mean a lot. As Twitter notes, users can still go live on Twitter, but they won't have a dedicated space to store their past streams. Instead, your broadcasts will only live within the tweet, but it seems likely that Twitter will also, eventually, look to integrate live-streaming into its new Fleets option.
That scenario was given a further boost last week, when Twitter announced that it had acquired group live-streaming app Squad, which enables group chat members to share their screen during the broadcast.
The Squad app was immediately shut down after the acquisition, which likely suggests that it will re-appear soon within Twitter, and you would assume that would be within Fleets.
That could point to new opportunities for Fleets, like a new archive for your Fleets, where your live-streams would also be placed. Twitter also just signed a new hosting deal with Amazon Web Services to expand its capacity on this front, so definitely, live-streaming will remain within the Twitter app. But Periscope itself won't be part of it.
Which, as we noted last week, is a little sad. For a short while, after the arrival of Meerkat, live-streaming was alive, it was a refreshing new spin on social media, which everyone seemed genuinely excited about. That excitement, however, didn't last, and most of those original boom apps eventually died out, including Meerkat, Blab and several others.
Now Periscope joins them in the great app resting place in the clouds. Or the cloud, more specifically.
The announcement was widely speculated after app whispering legend Jane Manchun Wong noted a single line of code within the Twitter app last week.
This text found inside Twitter’s app indicates the shutdown notice might be shown in future versions of the Periscope app, directing users to a FAQ page about the app pic.twitter.com/gGrNNxRLL7— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) December 11, 2020
From that text, Wong deducted that Periscope was a goner, and a week later she was (once again) proven correct. Wong's dedication and diligence to finding such notes has seen her earn a reputation as the leading expert in reverse engineering apps, often giving us the heads up weeks, even months in advance of new features. We have repeatedly referred to Wong's discoveries in our reporting, and this update, once again, underlines the value of her work.
So, Periscope will soon be no more - goodbye to hearts and Super Hearts and that pale blue background.
If you have any Periscope broadcasts that you want to save, you should get on it now, while you can find out more about the pending shutdown of the app here.