Five Things You Should Know About Meerkat
The following is a guest post by Dylan Chadwick at Fueled.com
Until now, the word ‘Meerkat’ likely conjured images of The Lion King in the average person’s mind. In fact, save for one marginally successful TV show a few years back the word might not have even entered most Internet users’ vocabulary. Suddenly though, Meerkat is the talk of the whole web, making news around the globe, thanks to what is hailed as an ingenious little app on the App Store. So, what exactly is this new app and what’s it all about?
1. It’s a video streaming, social networking app of sorts –
This may seem like a complex definition, but it just about sums up what Meerkat is all about. It’s an app which allows their users to stream video online with a simple touch by connecting with other apps to share the broadcast. Like Snapchat, the video is inaccessible to the general public after the broadcast ends, but in this case users can save the video and upload it somewhere else later.
2. It is powered by Twitter, but not willingly –
Though Twitter isn’t the most popular social networking platform worldwide, their database was the one Meerkat chose as a sharing platform for their videos. By connecting Meerkat with their Twitter accounts, users would automatically announce they were streaming something, as well as, receive comments and updates from their friends’ feeds. Twitter didn’t exactly love the idea that Meerkat was gaining popularity using their database, so they tried to shut it down, according to Buzzfeed, by limiting the app’s access to Twitter’s social graph. The fact that Meerkat is still on the rise and ironically being called “the new Twitter” is a great indication of the changing face of Twitter and their social networking M.O. success.
3. How “Meerkating” became a “thing” –
“Meerkating” or “Meerkasting” is the new term used when broadcasting an event – or anything else, really – using Meerkat. The movement took shape at South by Southwest Festival in Austin Texas, where a number of partygoers broadcasted the event’s happenings online for those who couldn’t make it, thus effectively putting the app on the map. Since then, other events like the launch of the Apple Watch have been broadcasted on Meerkat, gathering the attention of the traditional media. However, according to Business Insider, the app has also already had its first major ban at YC Demo Day in Silicon Valley, where those in attendance were asked to stop their live streaming of the event.
4. It’s not done yet, on several levels –
As meteoric as its popularity may have been, Meerkat is still growing, so declaring it dead this early is simply a mistake. On the other hand, the app itself is still not a finished product. According to Ben Rubin, the CEO of the company which is behind the app, it will eventually be developed into a completely independent platform with its own database, so that neither the app nor its users are dependent on Twitter.
5. It’s now available for both iOS and Android –
You now can download and experience the Meerkat app on both iPhone and Android devices. Until recently, Google Play offered an unofficial “watching” app or beta version of Meerkat with limited functionality that only allowed users to watch streams, and not create their own. An Android version will open up the app to a new, large community of users who will add content and enrich the overall experience. Not to mention, it will give them huge advantage over the competition, like Periscope, which are still only available on iOS.
There you have it, the basics about and history of Meerkat. It doesn’t matter which smartphone you have, you can now experience everything the app has to offer on both iOS and Android devices. As for whether Meerkat will actually be “the next Twitter” or not, only time will tell, because at this point it could really go either way.