Live Video: Meerkat vs. Periscope

By Benjamin Luoma

It’s been a busy few weeks for live-streaming video.

At the end of February, iOS introduced Meerkat, an app allowing people to watch live-streaming video. There have definitely been similar functioning apps out on the market, but none ever took off. What made Meerkat the talk of SXSW?

Timing.

People were searching for the Next Big Thing and SXSW was the perfect launching platform. It quickly jumped to the top of everyone’s top trends articles. Celebrities like Jimmy Fallon quickly started using it to connect with fans on Twitter.

And that’s where things got interesting.

Twitter had purchased a similar app for $100 million the year previously. So, when they realized that a competitor was utilizing them to gather more followers, they stopped allowing people to find their Twitter friends on Meerkat.

Then, last week they introduced their live-streaming video app, Periscope, to the public. Unlike Meerkat, people can save and replay video streams for up to 24 hours. Celebrities and brands such as Katy Perry and Red Bull have already embraced it.

Who will win in the live-streaming race? Here are some tidbits from around the web:

“By Sunday [March 29] at 7:00 p.m., Meerkat had collapsed to No. 523 on the U.S. iPhone download chart.” -Tero Kuittinen, BGR

“In the long run, I believe Periscope has an advantage here. You can easily follow anyone in Periscope you also follow on Twitter, as those people will automatically show up in your ‘people’ tab.” -Kurt Wagner, Recode

“Meerkat has become a key political tool in recent weeks, with Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush ‘meerkatting’ his speech last week before Georgia’s state legislature.” -Rob Lever, The Sydney Morning Herald

“So I just tried #periscope and #meerkat. I think I liked Periscope better. It was really fun. I thought it was gonna be weird.” -Courtney Act, Twitter user

The key insight into who will win may be this: influential early adopters of Meerkat, Jimmy Fallon and Mashable, have made the switch over to Periscope. Only time will tell, but as of now we’re putting our money on the more intuitive and connected Periscope.


 

What do you think of live streaming? Which app do you prefer?

 

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