In 2007, at SXSW, an app called Twitter launched. Two years later, Foursquare became the obsession of festival goers. Now it’s Meerkat’s turn. Meerkat is a Live-streaming App that allows you to live-stream to your Twitter followers – a practice that has now been dubbed ‘Meerkating’.
To use the app you must log in with your Twitter account. Once you start a stream, the app automatically sends out a link to the stream to your followers. However anyone can watch your stream and there are no privacy controls for who sees the stream. Anyone watching can follow along and comment on the live stream. Streams can only be watched in real time – you can’t replay them. However, the video can be saved to your phone, so you could upload it to YouTube later.
Now Twitter sensing the Popularity of Meerkat has launched its service known as Periscope. Initially, Twitter cut off Meerkat’s access to its social graph, which allows users to “auto-follow” the same people they do on Twitter. This however propelled the popularity of Meerkat. However, Periscope seems keen on cutting latencies which are the delays between the broadcaster and the audience. It also allows you to publish the videos for later viewing which are two things Meerkat is working on perfecting.
This is not particularly new – services like Qik, Bambuser and Livestream have allowed you to go live from your phone for some years. Is this the future of social communication? Maybe. Brace yourselves to see people show you videos of their cars, kitchens, new phones and their faces.
IMG Credit: whizsky.com