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Meerkat Steps Away From Livestreaming

Meerkat was one of those stories that I really wanted to have a happy ending. Having gotten in on the livestreaming game earlier than just about anyone else, the start-up enjoyed a brief moment in the sun before being stamped out by Twitter to make room for Periscope. They were confident in the face of adversity, but after a few attempts to break ground elsewhere, they faded into the background and everyone just kind of forgot about them.

It's a real shame, they were effectively punished for crossing the finish line ahead of the big boys, beckoned out behind the bike sheds and beaten with a hockey stick to make sure they never won another race. Tortured metaphors aside, it's always disheartening to see a start-up with such promise relegated to the past tense, but Meerkat's fate might not be quite so sealed.

A few weeks back, all of Meerkat's investors received an email from the CEO, Ben Rubin. It starts out by openly admitting that the company was failing, and that they simply could not keep up with Twitter and Facebook. So far, so bleak, but then, speaking to Re/Code on Friday, Rubin revealed their master plan - ditching livestreaming and focusing on a full, video-based social network, one where "everybody is always live".

That's about as much information as Rubin has been forthcoming with, so far, but the implication seems to be that it will be more based around group video chat, in a similar vein to Google hangouts. Livestreaming is all about broadcasting video out to the masses and hoping that somebody picks up what you're throwing down, but Meerkat seem like they're now more interested in a platform for sharing video with people you already know, which in a sense would put them more in line with Snapchat. Makes sense, they're both yellow with white mascots, the only difference being that one of them is an animal, and has corporeal form.

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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Meerkat Steps Away From Livestreaming Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, March 07, 2016 Rating: 5
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