Meerkat moves on to Facebook
Live-streaming app remains strong despite bounce from Twitter.
The live-streaming video app Meerkat had been on a roll earlier in the year. Apple featured it in the Best New App category. Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher and Tony Hawk were using it to broadcast their lives. But in late March, the momentum came to a sudden halt. Twitter cut off access to Meerkat because it was rolling out its own tool, Periscope.
But Meerkat has retooled. Founder Ben Rubin, who originally hails from Israel, and his team have made the service available on Facebook. New users can sign into Meerkat with their Facebook account and can publish alerts directly to the social network. Address book scanning and matching have also been introduced, so users can build their network simply by letting the app capture their contacts.
Meerkat has become popular with people who want to live stream video. Here a helicopter passenger uses the app to capture New York City. (Photo: Anthony Quintano/Flickr)
Additionally, Meerkat stands to gain from the ingenuity of third parties. For example, many users have complained that it’s not easy to catch the live streams on short notice, so a New York social media marketing agency is set to release MeerkatStreams, designed to organize and catalog streams from Meerkat. It works much like DVR does for your TV.
Rubin was recently interviewed at a TechCrunch event, where he spoke bullishly about the app and made his own predictions for the future.
"The way we see it is the medium will be successful when we change the type of content – and the type of content should change because this is live streams,” he said. “You can change the content when you empower the audience to take part in the content, not consume. If the past decade was about consuming or sharing, the next decade is going to be about participating in content.”
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