Twitter Kills Periscope, Because It Was a Broken Cash-Suck

Twitter Kills Periscope, Because It Was a Broken Cash-Suck
Image: Periscope

Livestreaming app Periscope, beloved by far-right conspiracy theorists and child predators alike, will be put out of its misery by the end of this coming March, Twitter announced on Tuesday.

Shutting down the app was apparently a no-brainer that was a long time coming. According to Twitter, which purchased Periscope in 2015, the app was a giant mess, code-wise, “and has been for a while.” Keeping it patched and running smoothly was just more expensive and troublesome than it was worth, Twitter said. Few people are using the service currently, the livestreaming feature was leached off and added to the core Twitter app years ago.

“We probably would have made this decision sooner if it weren’t for all of the projects we reprioritised due to the events of 2020,” Twitter said. “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.”

The Periscope app will be yanked from Apple’s App Store and Google Play by March 31, but as of today, users won’t be able to make new accounts or purchase new coins for tipping streamers. But all is not lost: “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,” Twitter said.

Periscope’s impending death comes as little surprise: Blogger and software engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who specialises in finding bits of news hidden in apps, found a URL that hinted at Periscope’s demise last week.

Twitter says it’s “confident that live video still has the potential of seeing an even wider audience within the Twitter product,” but we all know deep down that anyone serious about livestreaming is already on Twitch or TikTok or Reddit or YouTube or any number of apps that let you do exactly the same thing.