Meerkat adds a twist to Real-Time Streaming

May 06, 2015By Courtney Aurillo

If you have not heard, real-time streaming just got better. Meerkat is an app that allows you to watch and stream live video.  It started off strictly linked to a Twitter profile.  However, over the course of me writing this blog, Meerkat has jumped on the Facebook train.

The “producer” of the stream can post a link via the Meerkat app on the profile user’s timeline. The audience that chooses to follow this specific feed can interact and post comments during the live stream. And that’s just the basics.

A similar live-streaming platform is Periscope, which Twitter is obviously favoring over Meerkat. It is slightly older than Meerkat. After extensive research, my gut tells me Meerkat will be the better of the two. I took part in a webinar comparing each application.  Each app is supported by certain celebrities.

Ashton Kutcher uses Meerkat. That alone is almost enough to sell me, because he is actively invested in the latest technology trends.  Meerkat uses #katch to store videos after streaming On Periscope, your video is stored on their platform, for 24 hours only (this too could change by the time I publish this blog). Meerkat allows users to stream live to Twitter, and as of yesterday, Facebook and YouTube.

Meerkat is now fully supported by Facebook. Regardless, I find this astonishing to say the least. The ability to broadcast live video from one device without towing around multiple provider packs (Verizon, Sprint, ATT, etc) is refreshing.  Another cool feature on Meerkat is the ability to schedule a video.

Users can post the link and the time the live stream will air so the audience knows when to tune in. Followers will also receive an alert when the stream begins. At the end of the stream, Meerkat allows users to post a “Thank you” message, and a space to put a link to your website, or the site of your choice.

As the Director of Social Media and Events for JetNation.com, I decided to test the Meerkat waters on the first night of the NFL Draft. I figured what better way to engage with our audience than on Twitter (I know what you are thinking). I tweeted what time JetNation would be streaming, and how users could watch. Meerkat did all the work for me by “making” the tweet with the link.

During the live recording process, I saw the subscribers and viewers along the top of my phone screen (another awesome feature). Not one to shy from the camera, I have to remember that everything I say is live. I suggest you remind everyone involved in your video they will aired live as well.

In true new technology fashion, there is competition going on here. Twitter wants to be unique with their own community. Facebook just wants to take over the world. Pick your poison social media junkies, this battle just beginning. In the mean time, stream on.