Meerkat & Periscope Fight
for Social Media Relevance

 
A cute and cuddly mammal lending a sense of warmth to a virtual experience has not proven enough to outperform an abstract red eye peering through a cold blue circle.  But Meerkat hasn’t thrown in the towel yet!

Though Meerkat and Periscope both provide live-stream video capabilities, Meerkat only managed to hold a market lead prior to Periscope’s release: A day after Meerkat landed a coveted spot on Apple’s list of Best New Apps, Periscope launched and immediately nabbed it from them. Yep, on its launch day.

How’d it do that? Let’s take a look at the apps’ functionalities to see how Periscope so quickly eclipsed Meerkat.

Offering the choice of Tweeting a link to your video for your followers didn’t hurt. With Meerkat, your video links went straight to your feed whether you wanted them to or not.

However, both apps posted links to your Twitter feed rather than actual videos, so neither app had a huge advantage over the other in that department. (Till now, of course—see below.)

Meerkat initially integrated more easily with Twitter, but Twitter quickly disabled its social-connection import function. Why? Well, because it purchased Periscope, and why should it give a competitor any edge?

A scheduling option was unique to Meerkat, giving a 24-hour window in which to share a permalink to your stream; Periscope never offered that, but did provide audience-selection capabilities since the get-go.

Both let you save your videos for later use and sharing, so there’s no real difference there.

Then what went wrong for Meerkat?

It’s really more like what went right for Periscope.

It accrued 10 million active users in just four months.

Then Periscope was named App Store Best of 2015 by Apple.

And by now, everyone has heard the latest news: Periscope users can now embed their videos live in their Twitter feeds.

Ouch.

So where does that leave Meerkat-ers in All Things Social Media?

Is Meerkat dead, as some social media analysts announced just days after Periscope’s arrival on the scene?

It would appear otherwise.

Not too long ago, Meerkat added a few updates, including Cameo—where a broadcaster can jump to a fellow Meerkat-er’s stream and back again—as well as live polling for hashtag trends and midstream camera roll photo-posting.

Its underdog status will always capture a certain audience, while its current followers seem to be quite loyal.

Then, of course, there’s the little matter of Greylock Partners’ $14 million in funding. Those monies should keep Meerkat kicking a little longer.

Besides those factors, Meerkat-ers will always have their logo. That friendly little otter-looking animal, just standing there smiling. He’s got to count for something, right?

Give us your thoughts on both apps. Which do you prefer both personally and professionally?

Images: Wikipedia and Top Rank Blog

Rachel Norrod

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