Live-streaming: Meerkat vs Periscope – What You Need to Know

Live-streaming: Meerkat vs Periscope – What You Need to Know

Image credits: Marketing Fundamentals Ltd

Hello everyone. You may have heard or seen the words Meerkat and Periscope over  the last couple of weeks and wondered what they referred to. They are both livestreaming video apps available on the IOS  and android operating systems. Meerkat was founded by Ben Rubin in 2012 and launched recently at the SXSW festival in February 2015. Meerkat received a great reception from celebrities and  journalists and then on March 26th 2015 Periscope launched. Periscope was founded by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein in early 2014 but was acquired by Twitter in January 2015, reportedly for $100 million.

How do the apps work? 

Both apps link to a user’s Twitter account and allow the account holder to easily create a live streaming broadcast from the their smartphone.

Meerkat

Once logged in with Twitter the app shows a status update section, schedule button and a live stream broadcast button. Please see pic below. It is very easy to start a live-stream quickly and also to view the live-stream outputs of top Meerkat-ers that the app recommends that you follow. While I have been writing this I have been watching a live-stream from Mashable at the New York Auto Show. To stop viewing a live-stream simply click on the home screen icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. You can leave comments on livestreams and ‘heart’ live streams by double tapping on the screen similar to Instagram . Meerkat gives you the option to save streams to your phone. On first use it very easy to share live- streams via Twiter and links have a distinctive #meerkat added to them.

Periscope

Periscope is integrated more seamlessly into Twitter – as you would expect given that Twitter own it. In addition to the recommended people to follow Periscope also lists Twitter users that you follow that are also using the app. It is easy to click on them to follow. Your Twitter profile picture and first lines of your bio are pulled into your Periscope profile as can see from the picture below. Similar to Meerkat it’s very easy to start a live-stream broadcast, see how many people are watching any particular live-stream and to join others watching one. Your live-stream will be immediately shared with Twitter. Periscope saves all your broadcasts for 24 hours.

 Great, but  live-streaming is not new, is it? 

That is correct. Companies such as Spreecast have been offering users  live-streaming capabilities since the company was founded in 2011  by Jeff Fluhr. In addition Google Hangouts have been available for all (in the countries where Google is accessible) since May 15th 2013.

So why so much interest in Meerkat and Periscope? Ease of use – anyone with a smartphone can become a broadcaster or content creator. This means that news or events can easily be broadcast live to your Twitter following and your content can be shared via retweets as usual on Twitter. In recent years the tech community that drives Social Media has made big bets on online video – Vine and Instagram videos being two manifestations of that and now here are Meerkat and Periscope.

At this stage it is impossible to possible to say which app is likely to ‘win’ but given the greater number of Android phones the app that delivers the best user experience with their Android app will have a significant advantage. Twitter has certainly helped Periscope integrate more seamlessly as mentioned earlier and this could prove decisive.

 What is the significance for professional services firms and business owners?

Any social network or Social Media platform presents opportunities.In the short time I have been signed in to both apps I have connected with completely new people plus I have also connected with people that I know from other platforms. Building your network is clearly one advantage of being an early adopter but in addition to that both apps can be used to achieve the following:

1. Live-stream from your industry exhibitions or networking events and share with those of your prospects or existing customers who are not able to attend.

2. Live- stream major corporate or organisational announcements.

3. Live -stream you major product launch.

4. Interviews with business leaders/ niche/ thought leaders.

I recommend that you download both apps and start to experiment. Create a couple of live streams of your own. Familiarise yourself with both apps: You can use them effectively for your business.

 What does this mean for Vine and Instagram video? 

It is not yet clear what  impact the live streaming apps will have on Vine and Instragram video. Vine and Instagram are not live -streaming apps and offer users something different. It will be interesting to keep a watching brief on them both as Meerkat and Periscope become more widely used.

 Note – Be careful of your data allowance and battery life

Heavy use of either live-stream app is likely to increase your data usage in the same way that using Vine does and also use valuable battery power so I recommend that you have a power source close by.

Meerkat Home Screen           Periscope Profile Page

I hope you have found this review of the Meerkat and Periscope apps useful. Thank you for reading!

We create Content that builds relationships with your potential customers and generates leads and sales via your website, YouTube channel  and Social Media platforms. We keep a watching brief on innovations within the Social Media world and will keep you updated. If you would like us to create a successful Content Marketing Plan for you and execute it or if have questions relating to Content Marketing give us a call on +44 (0) 845 2264 247 or email us via mail@marketingfundamentals.com

Best regards,

Mike Pitt

Founder & CEO

Marketing Fundamentals Ltd

When you start using Meerkat  and /or Periscope follow me and I will follow you back. My profile name is Mike Pitt.

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Founder of Marketing Fundamentals Ltd, Blogger, Author & Content Creator