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Periscope: The Rise and Fall of a Live-Streaming Giant

Periscope: The Live-Streaming Platform Taking the World by Storm

What do you get when you combine real-time video streaming with the power of social media? The answer is Periscope, a live-streaming platform owned by Twitter that took the world by storm in 2015.

Periscope allows users to share live videos with an audience of followers and interact with them in real-time. In this article, we will delve into the founding and acquisition of Periscope, the features that make it stand out among its competitors, and the impact it has had on the way we consume video content.

The Founding & Acquisition of Periscope

Periscope was founded by Kayvon Beykpour and Joseph Bernstein under the name ‘TerriblyClever’ in 2013. The idea for the app came to Beykpour when he was in Istanbul during the mass protests that were happening in the city.

He wanted a way to show his friends back home what was happening on the ground, but found the available tools limiting. This sparked the idea for Periscope, a platform that allows anyone with a smartphone to broadcast live video content to the world.

To bring their idea to fruition, the founders raised $1.5 million in seed funding from investors like Scott Belsky and Menlo Ventures. The team then set about creating the app, which went through various iterations before the final version was launched in March 2015.

It wasn’t long before Periscope caught the attention of Twitter, which was then under the leadership of CEO Dick Costolo. Costolo was impressed by the app’s potential and saw an opportunity to strengthen Twitter’s position in the crowded social media landscape.

Twitter eventually acquired Periscope just a few weeks after it launched for a reported $100 million. The acquisition was seen as a strategic move by Twitter to compete with rival platforms like Facebook and Snapchat, which were already investing in live video streaming.

Periscope’s Features

What sets Periscope apart from other live-streaming platforms is its ease of use and interactivity. With just a few taps, anyone can start a live stream and share it with their followers.

Once a live stream is started, viewers can interact with the broadcaster by leaving comments and sending ‘hearts’ – a form of digital appreciation that floats up the screen in real-time. This creates a sense of community and engagement that is unmatched by pre-recorded video content.

Periscope also allows users to save their own streams for 24 hours, which gives their audience the option to watch at a later time if they missed the live broadcast. This feature has been especially useful for marketers who use Periscope for product launches and live events.

In addition, Periscope has integrated with Twitter, which means that users can broadcast their live streams directly to their Twitter followers. This has made Periscope a powerful tool for journalists and citizen reporters who want to share breaking news or events as they happen.

Impact on the way we consume video content

Since its launch, Periscope has been adopted by millions of users around the world and has had a significant impact on the way we consume video content. It has given anyone with a smartphone the power to become a broadcaster, and has democratized the creation of video content.

Periscope has also become a platform for live events, interviews, and Q&A sessions, allowing viewers to interact with their favorite personalities in real-time. This has made it a popular tool among influencers and brand ambassadors who want to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

Finally, Periscope has spurred a wave of innovation in the live video streaming space, with other platforms like Facebook Live and YouTube Live launching their own live-streaming features in response. This competition has driven improvements in the quality and functionality of live streaming, ultimately benefiting users who want to share their experiences with the world.


In conclusion, Periscope has been a game-changer in the world of live streaming and video content. Its ease of use, interactivity, and integration with Twitter have made it an indispensable tool for marketers, journalists, and everyday users alike.

By democratizing the creation of video content, Periscope has brought us one step closer to a world where everyone has a voice, and anyone can share their experiences in real-time.

Growth and Challenges at Periscope

Since Periscope’s launch in 2015, the platform has seen tremendous growth and success. Within just four months of its release, Periscope had surpassed one million downloads, becoming one of the fastest-growing apps of its time.

Periscope’s popularity grew even more when it was used by the White House to broadcast live events and press conferences. One of the reasons why Periscope has remained relevant is its integration with Twitter.

Since Twitter owns Periscope, users can easily share their live streams on their Twitter accounts, enabling them to reach a wider audience. Periscope has also integrated with GoPro cameras and DJI drones, allowing users to share their footage in real-time.

In addition, Periscope’s Producer feature allows broadcasters to create high-quality streams using broadcast-grade equipment. However, Periscope has also faced challenges in terms of content moderation.

Due to the nature of live streaming, it is difficult to monitor the content being broadcasted in real-time. This has resulted in Periscope being used to share copyrighted events, such as pay-per-view boxing matches.

Furthermore, the platform has been used to livestream illegal political protests, leading to concerns about the spread of misinformation. Periscope’s legal and political challenges are not unique to the platform.

Other live streaming platforms, such as Facebook Live, have also faced similar challenges. In response, Periscope has made efforts to improve its content moderation policies, including expanding its team of moderators and allowing users to report inappropriate content.

Another challenge facing Periscope is increased competition from other social media giants. Facebook and Instagram have both introduced their own live streaming features, making it harder for Periscope to maintain its market dominance.

However, Periscope has responded to this competition by focusing on engagement and user experience, introducing features such as Super Hearts, which allow viewers to send digital ‘gifts’ to their favorite broadcasters.

Monetization and Decline of Periscope

Like many social media platforms, Periscope’s business model relies on advertising revenue. To monetize its platform, Periscope introduced pre-roll video ads in 2016, which played before live streams.

However, this approach proved to be unpopular with users, who found the ads disruptive and intrusive. To address this issue, Periscope introduced Super Hearts in 2017.

Super Hearts were virtual gifts that viewers could purchase to support their favorite broadcasters. This proved to be a more effective monetization strategy, as it rewarded broadcasters for engaging their audience, rather than interrupting them with ads.

Despite these efforts, Periscope’s popularity has declined in recent years. This is due to a number of factors, including increased competition from other live streaming platforms, such as Facebook Live and Twitch.

In addition, Twitter’s decision to focus on its own live streaming feature, Twitter Live, has resulted in reduced investment in Periscope. Furthermore, Periscope has faced legal challenges in certain countries.

In 2019, Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) banned Periscope due to its use in livestreaming political protests. The ban came after Periscope was used to broadcast protests against the Turkish government, leading to concerns about the spread of misinformation.

This ban has had a significant impact on Periscope’s user base, as Turkey was one of the platform’s biggest markets. Finally, the costs associated with maintaining and improving the platform have also contributed to Periscope’s decline.

Despite its popularity, Periscope has struggled to generate significant revenue, forcing Twitter to cut back on its investment in the platform. As a result, Periscope’s features and functionality have become outdated, making it less attractive to users.


In conclusion, Periscope has faced both success and challenges since its launch in 2015. Despite its popularity and innovative features, the platform has struggled to compete with other live streaming platforms, resulting in declining user numbers.

Moreover, monetizing the platform, and keeping up with legal and political challenges has been a significant challenge for Periscope. Although Periscope played an important role in the live streaming market in its early years, its decline highlights the importance of innovation, monetization, and flexibility in the fast-evolving world of social media.

Why Periscope Shut Down

Periscope was once a leader in the live streaming market, attracting millions of users and making a significant impact on the way we consume video content. However, on March 31, 2021, Twitter announced that it would be shutting down Periscope.

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this decision, including Periscope’s inability to compete, its cost base, and Twitter’s focus shift towards live audio content. Periscope’s Inability to Compete

One of the main reasons why Periscope shut down was its inability to compete with other live streaming platforms like Facebook Live and Twitch.

When Periscope launched in 2015, it was a novel and innovative platform, providing users with a unique way to share live video content with their followers. However, over time, Periscope became less distinctive, and other platforms began to replicate its features, from the ability to interact with viewers using comments and reactions to the creation of live events and Q&A sessions.

In addition, Periscope faced competition from Twitter itself. As Twitter’s own live streaming feature, Twitter Live, grew in popularity, it began to cannibalize Periscope’s user base.

Twitter Live was integrated with Twitter’s main platform, making it more accessible for users and reducing the need for a separate live streaming app. Periscope’s Cost Base

Periscope was also plagued by high costs, which made it hard to generate sufficient revenue to sustain the platform.

While Periscope attracted millions of users, it struggled to monetize its platform effectively. In addition, maintaining and improving the platform came with significant costs, including servers, storage, and personnel.

Twitter’s decision to shut down Periscope was likely driven, in part, by its desire to reduce costs and focus its resources on more profitable platforms. Twitter’s Focus Shift Towards Live Audio Content

Another reason why Periscope shut down was Twitter’s focus shift towards live audio content.

In 2020, Twitter released Twitter Spaces, a new feature that allows users to create Twitter-based audio rooms where they can host live audio conversations with other users. Twitter Spaces was designed to compete with Clubhouse, a fast-growing audio-based social network.

Twitter Spaces is integrated with Twitter’s main platform, making it more accessible to users and reducing the need for a separate audio app. Twitter’s focus on live audio content has been further reinforced by its acquisition of Squad.

In December 2020, Twitter acquired Squad, a screen-sharing app that allows users to participate in group video chats and streams. Squad’s technology is expected to be integrated into Twitter’s live audio spaces, allowing users to share their screens and participate in live audio conversations.


In conclusion, Periscope’s inability to compete, its high cost base, and Twitter’s focus shift towards live audio content ultimately led to the platform’s shutdown. Periscope was an innovative platform that introduced the world to real-time video content, and it played an important role in the development of the live streaming market.

However, as competition increased and Twitter’s focus shifted, Periscope struggled to remain relevant. Although Periscope may be gone, its legacy will continue to shape the future of live streaming, and its impact on the way we consume video content will not be forgotten.

In conclusion, Periscope’s shutdown can be attributed to its inability to compete with other live streaming platforms, its high cost base, and Twitter’s focus shift towards live audio content. Despite its initial success, Periscope struggled to differentiate itself from competitors and generate sufficient revenue.

Twitter’s decision to prioritize live audio content through features like Twitter Spaces and the acquisition of Squad further reduced the need for a separate live streaming app. The story of Periscope serves as a reminder of the importance of innovation, adaptability, and effective monetization strategies in the fast-paced world of social media.

The rise and fall of Periscope highlight the transient nature of technological platforms and the ever-evolving nature of user preferences.

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