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Periscope versus Meerkat: The Saga Continues

The Meerkat Strikes Back


As you may or may not remember, last month a live-streaming video service app called Meerkat experienced a wildly successful launch period before being promptly crushed by Twitter. The micro-blogging giant blocked Meerkat’s access to their social graph so that their own live-streaming app, Periscope, wouldn’t have to compete with anyone.

It was a rather depressing tale, but now it has another chapter, as Meerkat have lived on and are now hitting back. Even just after being railroaded by Twitter, the app’s creator Ben Rubin was confident that it would only be a minor setback. “Meerkat will always tweet live video to Twitter, whether Twitter wants it or not” Rubin said in an interview with Re/Code shortly after the incident. He made it clear in that and several other press statements that Meerkat’s usage of Twitter’s API was only a temporary arrangement until they could get something app-specific off the ground.


Now, with Periscope live and readily available, Meerkat has been given an update and a rather meaty one at that. Now you can follow other users from within streams, are given follow recommendations and streams your friends like are discoverable. You can also fiddle the settings so that the comments you leave on streams don’t automatically also turn up on Twitter. Periscope remains the bigger, broader app, but Meerkat is clearly making some major inroads and isn’t going away any time soon.

The contrast between the two is interesting. Periscope has more money behind it, more corporate backing and it was showcased to high-level investors months ago, it’s a business-minded app from top to bottom. Meerkat was developed by only a handful of people for a lot less money, but purely by dint of being launched publically earlier, it’s still a contender. People already know about it and that’s an advantage that can’t be understated.

Periscope has been gaining momentum at a remarkable rate since launching, though. Twitter has even thrown the might of their VIP relations squad behind it, convincing celebrities with big followings to start using the app. Supposedly they are even steering famous tweeters away from Meerkat. It still looks to me like Meerkat will end up crumbling under the weight of all this adversity, but then I was pretty sure that the social graph debacle was the last nail in the app’s coffin and it’s still here. Only time will tell.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Periscope versus Meerkat: The Saga Continues Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, April 02, 2015 Rating: 5
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