Okay, this is what’s happening: a breakout hit has been rising out of South by Southwest 2015 (SXSW) held this week in Austin, Texas. This annual music, film and interactive festival and conference is considered an unique testing ground for new technology (in the past even more than today) and a must go for many in the industry. Developers keep trying to launch their apps at SXSW because it has shown that mobile social networks get their start here. In 2007 Twitter blew up SXSW. And as for this year, people have started ‘meerkatting’. It’s the talk of the week. But what’s this live streaming app about?
Yet available for iPhone and iPad (Android owners have to wait a little longer), the app has only been live since February 27th, and already shows some sort of multiplying effect, growing an entire meerkat family. Although not yet guaranteed, it has the potential to grow big. In the first place, it has to further operationalize to transform this ‘experiment’ into a real company. Nonetheless, other brands and businesses can certainly advantage from the use of Meerkat: broadcasting direct video to their customers and entering in dialogue with them. Meerkat founder Ben Rubin states that ‘everyone has a story to tell’.
Wanna see how we work today? (if any of this would interest you…)
Capturing people’s ‘most exciting or special moments’ — exactly in the moment — and sharing it with friends, fans, followers and whomever wants to see it, Meerkat is a combination of live video and chat. It’s an interesting idea to have direct connection with your audience. You are able to see comments of your viewers in your phone’s display. And the app works fast! Only a few seconds to live streaming from your phone. As we seem to be more comfortable with sharing more of ourselves — also considering the popularity of Instagram and Snapchat — this app seems to come at the right time.
The rules of using Meerkat are straight and simple: ‘Everything that happens on Meerkat happens on Twitter. Streams will be pushed to followers in real time via push notifications. People can only watch it live. No reruns. Watchers can restream any stream to their followers in real time. Scheduled streams will be distributed in the community by their subscribers. Your own streams can be kept locally on your phone, but never on the cloud. Everyone can watch on web. Be kind.’
Although it was cut off from accessing Twitter’s social graph because Twitter currently develops a similar live streaming app, Meerkat will try to find its own way. But whether this easily accessible way of live streaming will always be ‘kind’…? Let’s stream and see!