Meerkat VS Periscope

On which side of the live-streaming bus will you sit?

Well after 26 highly voyeuristic days, the time has come. Meerkat, the nifty and seemingly obvious app that captivated the world by bringing live streaming video to Twitter audiences with ease, now has some real competition. Twitter’s slightly-late-to-the-game answer, Periscope, hit the App Store today. And we’ve already been told to expect updates throughout the day. So now it’s time to decide … Meerkat or Periscope?

Fact is these are two apps that do very much the same thing, save for a few secondary features. Meerkat as the early-to-market leader has a pre-baked and fairly large audience already, and Periscope, obviously caught with their pants down, wants to steal that audience. Periscope can clearly integrate more with Twitter, because they are in fact Twitter. But the bottom line here is I’m not going to use both apps. Kinda seems redundant. It’s like having two flashlights on your phone.

So let’s examine each for a minute. First Meerkat. I’ve been a meerkat-er all the way back to 26 days ago, as Meerkat blew up on producthunt.com. I remember saying, “duh…” – after all this is the obvious evolution of social – real-time video. But I really began enjoying Meerkat. My company jumped right in on the hot trend, creating meerkatstreams.com to aggregate all live streams for users to binge watch, and the site has been wildly successful in terms of traffic. And it’s fun. Not only is it fun, but its easy and it delivers exactly what it promises, a live, raw and in your face POV from someone else’s phone and it’s integrated well enough with Twitter. Pretty f-ing cool.

However, on the other side is Twitter’s answer to Meerkat, Periscope. Periscope is the just-now-released-app that Twitter hopes can snare away an audience who has already begun amassing huge bases of fans on Meerkat. I played with Periscope this morning on my commute. I streamed my wait at the ferry terminal and thought that the app was clean, worked just fine and I, along with about a dozen others who joined my work journey all got a taste of a Periscope stream, which at first glance, is kinda the same thing as, well, Meerkat. Side note: I was also questioned by authorities as to why I was filming at the terminal – “I’m not,” I said, “I’m live-streaming with a new app.” Somehow that was a good enough answer and I was left alone. Go figure.

In any case, Periscope would seemingly have a long term advantage because after all, it’s got the keys to the twitter social graph, and if and when it provides the ability to live stream right in your Twitter feed users will, I assume, gravitate toward such a feature. But there’s no denying that Meerkat has the bulk of activity and with celebrities like Jimmy Fallon streaming his walkthroughs each day, people are tuning in en masse. So I’m curious to see how this plays out. In all honesty, I’m undecided myself and interested to see how Periscope proceeds.

One thing is for certain, the market is extremely fragile at the moment, and the competition is fierce. Anything can happen. Maybe the real answer to which app wins lays in this question, “Which app will @JimmyFallon choose to use?”

Categories: Social Media
Tags: