The biggest new innovation in social media in 2015 has been live-streaming apps. It was Meerkat that introduced live-streaming videos to the world, but it has since been unceremoniously ousted by the platform it was based on – Twitter – as Twitter has come out with its own live-streaming app Periscope. We were big fans of Meerkat when it first came out and thought it was amazing, but with Periscope in the picture, Meerkat finds its continued existence under threat. Let’s find out why that’s so, in this Periscope versus Meerkat review.
Meerkat Review – Why Meerkat Finds it Hard to Compete
Meerkat was the company the first introduced live-streaming videos to the world. Basically, live-streaming videos run on your smartphone and can be seen by your followers on Meerkat (or for that matter, on Periscope). Your followers will be sent a push notification every time you have a live stream on.
That’s all very good, and very smart. Meerkat, one must never forget, was the first to come out with this service. But unfortunately for Meerkat, Twitter has been working for a while on its own live streaming video service – Periscope – which has since been released to the world, and already has 10 million members.
Meerkat, unfortunately, does not have the backing of a powerful company such as Twitter. In fact, Twitter has gone out of its way to finish Meerkat forever, denying it access to its platform – which was so important for Meerkat.
So Meerkat has been trying very hard to find platforms other than Twitter, but with mixed results so far. Meerkat is available as a free app on both iOS and Android, but it is quite clear that without full access to Twitter, it’s hard for Meerkat to pick up new followers or to create an excitement about its service.
So, while you can find broadcasts from people you follow on Twitter using Meerkat, you don’t have browser capability. So you can see all the live streams that are on – particularly those that belong to people who you don’t follow. Apart from a few “community picks” that are available on the main stream, browsing is nonexistent for Meerkat.
Also, because of Meerkat’s limited access to Twitter’s social graph, you cannot really trust the live notifications on Meerkat. This is another big disadvantage.
Periscope Review – Why Periscope is Better Than Meerkat…
Periscope has the power of Twitter behind it. It has full access to Twitter’s social graph and is perfectly compatible with the popular social network. Basically, all you have to do on Periscope is to open the app, and you will find a virtual channel that makes thousands of live streams available to you at your fingertips, which you can scroll from start to finish. This kind of browser capability is not available on Meerkat.
There’s more – you can pin your location on Periscope, and know from which corner of the world a particular live stream is coming from. So if you are looking for live streams from French users for their observations on the recent terror strike in Paris, Periscope allows you to do that. Periscope is like your window to the world.
Plus, the live streams on Periscope are organized according to the popular hashtags on Twitter and are easier to save on your smartphone. When you launch a broadcast, you know exactly how many people are tuning in and watching your live stream. Your followers will be sent push notifications every time you launch a live stream.
The Verdict – Periscope versus Meerkat
So, as you can see, in this Periscope versus Meerkat, contest, we have a clear winner. It’s really hard for us to be critical of a company like Meerkat which began the live streaming revolution to begin with, but it is just a fact that Periscope is a much better service with more attractive features.
But all is not lost for Meerkat – they just need to get Mark Zuckerberg’s number and get acquired by Facebook. If they do that, it’s game on!
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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