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Twitter is shutting down Periscope in 2021 because it costs too much to run

The sharing service for live videos offered a view of protests, speeches and events. But Twitter says usage is going down.

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Twitter is focusing on the tweeting app.

James Martin/CNET

Twitter's streaming service for live videos, Periscope, is shutting down in March. Twitter said Tuesday that declining usage and rising costs made it unsustainable. Instead, many of its features have been built into Twitter.

"Leaving it in its current state isn't doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter," the Periscope team wrote in a Medium blog post announcing the move. "We still believe in the power of live video to solve impactful problems, which is why we've brought most of the core capabilities of Periscope into Twitter."

The move marks the latest video sharing acquisition Twitter has made and then shut down. Twitter bought Periscope in 2015, shortly after similar apps like Meerkat and Facebook Live became tech darlings as people experimented with sharing live video of protests, events and speeches. It's since built some features into its main Twitter app, including Twitter Go Live.

Periscope isn't the only popular video app Twitter bought and then closed. Another was Vine, a sharing app for short-form video, which drew attention to a new generation of internet entertainers. Twitter bought the app in 2012 and shut it down in 2016, citing similarly dropping usage. But interest in short-form video didn't go away. TikTok has since become the internet's short-form video darling, attracting hundreds of millions of users in the US.

Twitter said there won't be any layoffs as part of Periscope's closing.