Twitter periscope
(Getty Images)

  • Twitter will discontinue the Periscope live-streaming app, the company announced on Tuesday.
  • Periscope was in an "unsustainable maintenance-mode state," the company said, with usage declining for two years and costs expected to increase. 
  • Twitter bought the live-streaming app in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.
  • Twitter initially tried to operate Periscope as an independent app, but later decided to integrate many of its functions instead.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Twitter plans to shutter its Periscope app, the company announced Tuesday.

Twitter will discontinue the Periscope mobile app by March 2021 and remove it from app stores. The company said the app was in an " unsustainable maintenance-mode state," with usage declining for two years and costs expected to increase. 

"Leaving it in its current state isn't doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter," the company said.

Periscope said the company would have made the decision to discontinue the app sooner "if it weren't for all of the projects we re-prioritised due to the events of 2020". 

Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein founded Periscope in February 2014 as a way to live-stream important events. Twitter bought the app a year later for an undisclosed amount. Beykpour now serves as the product lead at Twitter.

Twitter initially tried to operate Periscope as an independent app, but later decided to integrate many of its functions instead.

TechCrunch's Josh Constine said part of Periscope's failure was due to not having any users when Twitter bought it pre-launch. Some users accused Periscope in 2015 of not doing enough to combat harassment on the platform.

Periscope also encountered competition from other social media giants. Facebook launched a video streaming feature for all users in 2015 to compete with Periscope and competitor Meerkat. Facebook has since signed deals to broadcast live sports games with Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, and Premier League. Twitch, the live streaming platform for gamers, amassed 3.8 million unique broadcasters since launching in 2011.

Periscope said the company's legacy will live on Twitter, which will allow live videos to gain a wider audience.

"We're so grateful to all of you who invested time and energy into making Periscope the place to show what's happening in your world and creating vibrant communities," Periscope said.

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