True to its name, Meerkat – the live-streaming video app – seemed to pop up out of nowhere. But with social media apps coming and going like X Factor winners (“Hello Matt Cardle, Goodbye Matt Cardle!”), does Meerkat have the legs to go the distance?
The app enables users to tweet live video – called ‘Meerkasts’ – from their mobile or tablet device (at present only Apple devices), while receiving real-time feedback. Meerkat’s ‘rules’ are as simple as its premise and include ‘Everything is live, no reruns’, ‘Everything that happens on meerkat happens on Twitter’ and ‘Watchers can restream any stream to their followers in real time’.
However this Twitter-centric form of publishing may change, as Twitter has launched its own live streaming service, Periscope, while simultaneously making moves to prevent Meerkat from tapping into its own users so easily.
While it’s too early to judge which platform will be perform better (and there will undoubtedly be more live-streaming apps joining the party), the potential of the format itself is huge. Meerkat and Periscope have brought live-streaming video and social networks together.
Now, with a click of button, anyone can broadcast a live stream of anything at any time directly to Twitter. So instead of recording and retrospectively uploading a video via YouTube, Vine or Instagram, you can stream the action (whatever that may be) as it happens.
At a personal level, that could be your son’s Sunday league football match for the rest of the family to enjoy. For business, and in particular B2B businesses, there are a wide range of live video streaming possibilities to explore, such as:
- Live demonstrations of products
- Live broadcasts of exhibitions and in-house events
- Candid Q&As with company experts, product managers and thought leaders
The list goes on. The scope for brand promotion and storytelling is massive, provided that organisations remember that is just as ‘live’ a broadcast medium as TV news. Whatever happens to Meerkat or Periscope in the coming months, live-streaming video will have a significant impact on news and it definitely has a role to play in the future of marketing.
Watch this space.