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All posts tagged Meerkat

YouTube Had Big News Today…

… with the announcement that their Live Streams now support HTML5 playback and a dazzling 60 fps (Frames per Second) video.

Google+ already offered live streaming and you could also access this feature from your YouTube account by doing the following: –

  • Sign in to YouTube with your Google account
  • From the top menu bar select upload from the right hand side
  • Now select the Google+ Hangouts On Air from the right menu bar by clicking the broadcast
    button.
  • Add the necessary details and you are good to go (assuming your webcam and mike are working).

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All the Details

After reading several of the tech blogs I decided that they, especially Venturebeat had covered the technical aspects of the story nicely, explaining the facets of 60fps and HTML5 support.

For most of us the biggest issue here is, will our browsers support this? Venturebeat goes on to explain that the latest versions of IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera should all handle this just fine.

This is a big step for HTML5 platform/ technology maturity.

Venturebeat’s post looks at the ramifications for Gaming, eSports and Twitch but for my money they are missing the big picture …

The Warptest POV

Anyone not living in a cave and reading about Live Streaming right now will know all about the battle for dominance in Social Live Streaming between Meerkat and Periscope (Twitter’s recent acquisition).

When I wrote about this in March I already suspected / predicted that it was a natural evolution of YouTube / Google+ Live Streaming and Hangouts mobile app to begin competing against these other two apps.

youtube - google+ hangout app

With the news today, the technology is in place and it doesn’t take much to see a YouTube Live app with Google+ social integration landing in the Play Store in the next few weeks or months.

One of the prevalent arguments I’ve heard is that without curation Social Live Streaming has a poor chance of success as the good content simply won’t be discovered. I disagree. If you follow people in your social networks already who provide you with valuable, meaningful content then some of them will already be delivering the same through Meerkat or Periscope. We don’t need curation, we need to use our common sense and leverage our social networks or robust discovery within the app(s).

This is where YouTube / Google+ has an advantage, it has Google search and an existing network to build on. In addition Google+ Hangouts On Air already has API support in place. Until now, the race was to see who would go from just having an iOS app to launching on Android (and hopefully Windows Phone too); Meerkat won this stage of the race.

youtube livestream competitor meerkat android

The next and even more important stage of the race will be based on API launch and Google is already there. The only question is when they launch a mobile app will it only be for Android?

So I’m going to ask one more question, who will be next (after YouTube) in the arena of Social Live Streaming on mobile? Who do you think?

 

Meerkat the Plucky Israeli Startup…

Has clocked up some serious achievements in the month they have been live:

  • Meerkat is a livestreaming iOS app that combines with real-time Twitter feed interaction, is beautifully designed and implemented.

Meerkat app logo

  • A slew of spinoff apps (some official, some not) including saved streams, chrome extension, a geo-location app to show where people are Meerkatting (thanks Hillel Fuld for the Twitter correction) Meerkasting from.
  • Having huge names like Jimmy Fallon and Shaq use and promote the app.
  • Basically forcing Twitter to early release Periscope, their competitor to Meerkat (a recent acquisition) and now it’s a race to see who will be cross-platform on Android and Windows Phone first.
  • Closing a round of investment with Greylock.

In short, Meerkat are on a rocket ride.

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Whilst Meerkat is doing incredible things and Twitter is nipping at their heels with Periscope, who else is positioned to dive into this pool?

1. Microsoft: Skype is already cross-platform, cross-device and clearly has the infrastructure to support Livestreaming. What Skype needs is the social integration.

2. Google: Google+ has Hangouts which is a part of Google+ and a standalone app. Within Google+ Hangouts Live already exists, so how hard would it be for Google to add this feature to the app? One thing is for sure, Google will continue to support every platform except Windows Phone:

Not Meerkat - Google Hangouts App

3. Facebook: Messenger or WhatsApp? Which would Facebook use? Given last week’s F8 announcement of Messenger as a platform, Zuck would probably go this way.

4. LinkedIn: There is a use case for the social network to encourage job seekers to generate and share Livestream content thru LinkedIn. Imagine the benefits for headhunters.

5. Apple: What would it take to make Facetime into Facestream?

There are others who could conceivably add this as a feature or separate app to their existing infrastructure e.g. Foursquare, Vine or Snapchat based on their existing use cases.

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The Warptest POV

How will Twitter respond a month from now when there are a slew of competitors all connected to Twitter, all competing with Periscope? This is anyone’s guess but I suspect some stringent appliance of their Terms and Conditions.

As I mentioned earlier Meerkat has sparked a variety of spinoffs and it won’t take long before there is a Livestreaming app that allows your Facebook friends to interact with you.

The biggest problem most of these companies that could be competing here have is being aware of the opportunities available and moving fast enough to build and launch their own app. I asked Skype if they had plans for this on Twitter but (unsurprisingly) got a “no comment” sort of reply.

The social networks have a huge strategic advantage with an organic network to build on. The biggest challenge that Social Livestreaming faces is psychological: the early adopters will be the extroverts but for the more introverted livestreaming is something of a daunting challenge.

One thing is sure, Meerkat arrived when social networking was in need of a shot of adrenaline and that’s exactly what we are seeing.

I’m going to bet that Meerkat will hold up to the competition well, continue to grow and will probably beat Twitter (who are good about cross-platform support) to Android and Windows Phone app release.

The big question is will any of the companies I mentioned above join the race? Who do you think it will be?