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.
- 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:
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.
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.
@jonathanross We don’t have any info on that right now, but thanks for your interest!
— Skype (@Skype) March 30, 2015
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?