The Periscope live streaming service shut down today. The Twitter-owned video platform launched in March 2015 and quickly rose to cultural prominence along with competitor Meerkat. Despite massive investments in the service, live streaming never became the cultural mainstay that Twitter anticipated, and Periscope’s popularity faded into the background.
Why is Periscope closing down?
This is it. Our final goodbye. Today is the last day the Periscope app will be available.
We leave you with our gratitude for all the creators and viewers who brighten the Periscope community. We hope to see you all live on Twitter.
— Periscope (@PeriscopeCo) March 31, 2021
After the novelty factor wore off, many realized that most people aren’t that entertaining to watch. This, paired with many public venues banning live streaming on their premises, meant interest waned pretty quickly. Additionally, for some reason, Twitter added live streaming to its app in late 2016, which led to Twitter and Periscope inexplicably becoming competitors.
Of course, Periscope isn’t the first video service Twitter has run into the ground. The trendy short format video website Vine only lasted four years, despite being a massive influence on internet culture. Periscope ostensibly is shutting down due to lack of interest. However, like with Vine, Twitter never seemed to know what to do with the service after its initial burst of popularity.
Unlike with Vine, there aren’t any viewable archives of past streams available. As of today, the Periscope website only features a goodbye message and a link to Twitter. You can still log in or create an account, but there’s nothing to do other than view your past broadcasts.
Of course, if you want to get your live stream on, the feature is still available on Twitter. Alternatively, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all have similar functionality, exemplifying the biggest reason Periscope is closing. Twitter never found a way to distinguish Periscope from its competitors and never integrated it with its core social media platform in any meaningful way.
Luckily, hardly anyone outside of Periscope’s staff is being affected by its closure. If there were going to be any “star scopers,” their time would have long passed. It’ll live on as another service that had millions of dollars thrown at it only to die in obscurity.