Live video broadcasting was one of the hottest social media trends of 2016 (despite one of the originators’ downfalls). In fact, live-streaming has become such a hit that companies with one popular product in the space—like Facebook—have recently introduced a second form of real-time video (Instagram Live) to its extended user base.
This week, Twitter Live video was rolled-out to iOS and Android users—blurring the lines between the company’s core app and their early-to-market Periscope live-stream platform. Before this integration, Twitter users wishing to broadcast live needed to have the Periscope app installed to transmit their live-stream; now, it would seem, the latter is no longer a necessity, at least for creating and distributing live content.
— Twitter (@twitter) December 14, 2016
Now, the launch of Twitter Live video doesn’t completely negate the features offered by Periscope—namely, the ability to seek out active live-streams via hashtag search and/or geography. However, this is a seemingly easy thing for Twitter to eventually work into their native app; and, the commenting features on Periscope are available when a user broadcasts via Twitter Live, further raising the question if Periscope will one day entirely become unnecessary.
And, if we’re being honest here, that is the most likely scenario. The eventual dissolution of Periscope.
Unlike Facebook, a continually growing empire that is looking for more ad space wherever it can find it, Twitter has always struggled—both with user growth and revenue. Recent attempts to shop itself to companies such as Salesforce and even Disney fell flat; and, as evidence with the pending shutdown of once-popular short-form video app Vine, Twitter is looking for ways to cut costs.
Keeping Periscope as a stand-alone app, while not generating much revenue, doesn’t make much financial sense for Twitter; but, integrating its most popular features into the core app, bringing the user base with it, does. Though Twitter hasn’t made any formal announcements either way (and therefore, this is just speculation), it wouldn’t be surprising to see Periscope phased-out as Twitter Live video becomes the company’s mainstay in the coming months.