What Happened to Periscope?

Photo of author
Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business



In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, platforms come and go, each with their own unique rise and fall.

Periscope, a live video streaming platform that once captivated millions, faced its own untimely demise. Despite initially garnering widespread attention, Periscope's journey took an unexpected turn due to mounting maintenance costs and declining usage.

This article delves into the factors that led to Periscope's discontinuation, shedding light on Twitter's strategic decisions and the challenges faced by the platform.

Key Takeaways

  • Periscope was developed in 2013 and acquired by Twitter in 2015.
  • The cost of maintaining Periscope as a standalone app became too high for Twitter.
  • Twitter's acquisition of Squad did not directly cause Periscope's discontinuation.
  • Periscope's high maintenance costs and declining usage led to its discontinuation.

Background and Acquisition

Periscope, a live streaming app, was developed by Joe Bernstein and Kayvon Beykpour in 2013 and subsequently acquired by Twitter in 2015. Its development timeline marked a significant milestone in the live streaming industry.

Upon its release, Periscope garnered immense popularity, surpassing 10 million accounts within four months. Users engaged with the platform, consuming the equivalent of 40 years of content each day.

However, as time passed, Periscope faced rising maintenance costs and declining usage, making it economically unviable for Twitter to sustain. The integration of Periscope's features into the main Twitter app further reduced the need for a standalone Periscope app.

While its acquisition of Squad may have highlighted Twitter's consolidation strategy, it did not directly impact Periscope's discontinuation. Ultimately, Periscope's impact on the live streaming industry was significant, but its operational challenges led to its demise.

Rising Maintenance Costs

As time passed, the live streaming app faced increasing maintenance costs, leading to its eventual discontinuation. Periscope's financial challenges and decreasing user engagement played a significant role in this outcome.

Here are three key factors that contributed to the rising maintenance costs:

  • Unsustainable maintenance-mode state: Twitter acknowledged that Periscope was in an unsustainable state, requiring continuous upkeep and support.
  • Declining usage: The decrease in user engagement resulted in a dwindling user base, which further strained the app's operational costs.
  • Duplication of functionality: Twitter had to maintain two separate apps with overlapping features, increasing the complexity and expenses associated with Periscope.
See also  What Happened to Pan Am?

These mounting maintenance costs made Periscope economically unviable for Twitter, ultimately leading to its discontinuation.

Twitter Integration

The integration of Periscope into Twitter's platform streamlined functionality and expanded its reach. Twitter incorporated the Periscope Live Broadcast feature into its mobile app in 2016, allowing users to livestream directly from Twitter without the need for a separate Periscope app. This integration reduced the need for Periscope as a standalone app, as the Twitter platform became as functional as Periscope but with a larger audience.

However, the impact on Periscope's user base was significant. With the integration, many Periscope users migrated to Twitter, resulting in a decline in Periscope's active user base. While the integration enhanced the livestreaming capabilities of Twitter, it ultimately contributed to the diminishing popularity of Periscope as a standalone platform.

Squad Acquisition

Twitter's acquisition of Squad had minimal impact on the fate of Periscope. The Squad acquisition highlighted Twitter's strategy of consolidated functionality, but it did not directly cause the discontinuation of Periscope.

Here are three key points regarding the Squad acquisition and its integration with Twitter:

  1. Squad's video features were absorbed by Twitter after the acquisition, further enhancing the platform's live streaming capabilities.
  2. The acquisition was delayed due to various factors, including COVID-19 and other projects. This delay further emphasized the diminishing importance of Periscope as a standalone app for Twitter.
  3. Twitter's preference for acquiring companies and integrating their features aligns with the decision to focus on consolidating its functionalities rather than maintaining separate apps like Periscope.

Key Takeaways

Periscope's discontinuation was primarily driven by the high maintenance costs and declining usage, making it economically unviable for the social media giant.

The future of live streaming has seen a shift in user behavior and preferences, resulting in a decrease in Periscope's user base. As a standalone app, Periscope faced challenges in attracting and retaining users in a competitive market.

The impact of declining usage further exacerbated the economic burden of maintaining the app. Twitter's integration of Periscope features into its main platform demonstrated a consolidation of functionality, reducing the need for Periscope as a standalone app.

See also  What Happened To Digg? How Digg Failure Brought To Reddit's Success

While the acquisition of Squad by Twitter did not directly cause Periscope's discontinuation, it highlighted Twitter's strategy of acquiring companies and integrating their features.

Impact of COVID-19

With the onset of COVID-19, the live streaming landscape experienced significant changes for Periscope. The pandemic presented both challenges and opportunities for the platform. Here are some key impacts of COVID-19 on Periscope:

  • Increased Demand: The lockdowns and social distancing measures led to a surge in demand for live streaming content, as people sought ways to connect and entertain themselves while staying at home. Periscope experienced a boost in user engagement and viewership during this period.
  • Competition from Established Platforms: As other social media platforms recognized the growing popularity of live streaming, they introduced their own live streaming features. Periscope faced increased competition from platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, which already had large user bases and established live streaming functionalities.
  • Monetization Challenges: The economic downturn caused by the pandemic affected advertising budgets, making it more challenging for Periscope to generate revenue through advertising and sponsorships. This posed a financial hurdle for the platform.

Despite the increased demand for live streaming during the pandemic, Periscope faced stiff competition and monetization challenges, ultimately impacting its viability in the evolving live streaming landscape.

Future of Live Streaming

As the live streaming landscape continues to evolve, the future of this medium is shaped by increasing demand, heightened competition, and evolving monetization strategies.

With the rise of platforms like Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live, the demand for live streaming content is at an all-time high. This has led to a surge in competition as platforms vie for viewers and content creators.

To stay relevant and profitable, platforms are exploring new monetization strategies, such as advertising, sponsorships, and paid subscriptions.

Additionally, emerging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality are being integrated into live streaming experiences, offering viewers a more immersive and interactive experience.

As the industry continues to evolve, platforms will need to adapt and innovate to meet the changing demands of viewers and content creators while finding sustainable ways to monetize their services.

See also  What Happened to Sports Authority?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Accounts Did Periscope Have at Its Peak?

Periscope's user base reached its peak with over 10 million accounts, demonstrating its initial success. However, competition from other live streaming platforms and the high maintenance costs ultimately led to its discontinuation by Twitter.

What Were the Main Reasons for Periscope's Declining Usage?

Periscope's declining usage can be attributed to increased competition and a lack of innovation. As other platforms offered similar live streaming features, Periscope failed to differentiate itself and keep up with evolving user demands.

Did Periscope Offer Any Unique Features That Were Not Integrated Into the Main Twitter App?

Periscope offered unique features such as live streaming and interactive chat, which were not fully integrated into the main Twitter app. The decline of Periscope had a significant impact on the live streaming industry.

Did the Acquisition of Squad by Twitter Contribute to the Discontinuation of Periscope?

The acquisition of Squad by Twitter did not directly contribute to the discontinuation of Periscope. Twitter's preference was to acquire companies and integrate their features. Periscope's high maintenance costs and declining usage led to its discontinuation.

Were There Any Alternative Solutions Considered by Twitter Before Deciding to Discontinue Periscope?

Before discontinuing Periscope, Twitter likely considered alternative solutions to address its high maintenance costs and declining usage. However, the specific alternatives considered and the reasons for ultimately choosing discontinuation have not been publicly disclosed.


In conclusion, Periscope's journey came to an end due to a combination of rising maintenance costs, declining usage, and strategic decisions made by Twitter.

Despite its initial popularity and innovative live streaming capabilities, the platform became financially unsustainable for Twitter to maintain.

The integration of Periscope's features into Twitter's main app, as well as the acquisition of Squad, further contributed to its discontinuation.

The future of live streaming remains uncertain, with the impact of COVID-19 also playing a significant role in shaping its trajectory.

Leave a Comment