26 Mar Mitt, Meerkat And You: What You Need To Know To Get Livestreaming
Over the past few weeks, it would seem you can’t turn anywhere without hearing about Meerkat. The Meerkat app was the most popular item featured at the annual SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive Festival – so much so that it raised $12 million at a $40 million pre-money valuation just days after the festival. The app has also attracted a celebrity following with Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Fallon and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Meerkat has even found its way into the political realm with Mitt Romney live-streaming from The Today Show green room before his appearance promoting his upcoming charity boxing match. The app has since been featured in nearly every technology media outlet including TechCrunch, Mashable and Engadget.
What is Meerkat? Meerkat is the new live video streaming app for Twitter that is getting really big, really fast. After piggybacking on Twitter’s identity and technology, Meerkat is coming in so strong that Twitter itself has limited its access and removed Meerkat from its social graph (which severely limits the viral capabilities of the app). Yet even that hasn’t curbed its growth. Twitter also purchased a direct competitor, called Periscope, as its own in-house service that was just released to the App Store this week. It remains to be seen how this will affect Meerkat’s ability to expand.
Ben Arnold, NPD Group Consumer Technology Industry Analyst noted that, “part of the buzz around Meerkat is based on the success of Vine over the past year. Twitter has shown to be a great platform for sharing video and being able to share live, streaming video via Twitter adds another dimension to the experience, which ties in with the real time, viral nature of the social network. Additionally, we are seeing consumers buy more devices that feature cameras like smartwatches, drones, and IP cams like Dropcam. The growth in these new technology product categories means users can and likely will take personal streaming video beyond the smartphone, tablet, or PC. The application of choice for streaming on these new devices could be Meerkat or something else, but the desire to stream video from this new crop of devices will be there.”
In my own experience using the Meerkat app, I found it easier to use than I expected. It really is as simple as point, click and you’re live. There are some dangerous, yet addictive, qualities about streaming live. With the presidential elections looming, we can almost definitely anticipate what would have been behind-the-scenes in 2012 going prime time in 2016.
From average users, to small businesses, to Fortune 500 companies, this app can provide a new and expansive audience that’s been previously untapped. The streams appearing on the Meerkat app itself provides the potential for a jump in whatever initial audience numbers you may have. I saw my audience triple each time I live-streamed.
There are many practical applications to live streaming, not just for individuals but for companies and membership organizations as well. The cost and production time involved in streaming events has now not only been reduced, but also made as simple as a push of a button. With companies and organizations having a membership reach spanning the entire country and in some cases the entire world, being able to effectively bridge that distance is an invaluable asset. Also, with the viral capabilities of an app like Meerkat or Periscope you can instantly create and push interactive content at any event to your social media audience. Followers and viewers of your stream can tweet questions or suggestions as they watch that you will be able to see and react to in real time so it can also be an excellent resource during an interview or Q & A session.
The 720 technology team is always on the cusp of what happens in the technology world, and we’ll be on the lookout for new and innovative ways to serve our clients’ needs.
Brian Horace is Senior Web Developer at 720 Strategies. For more information about our technology offerings you can reach us at 202.962.3955 or email us [email protected].