The Fight for a New Form of Social Media

Meerkat vs. Periscope:

Meerkat and Periscope are competing for users as they pioneer a new form of social media—live video. Yes, we’ve been able to broadcast live video on Youtube and Livestream for a while now, but those solutions provide professional-quality streaming for concerts, church services, sports and conferences. Meerkat and Periscope are meant for a different purpose entirely.

Purpose and Functionality:

The purpose of Meerkat and Periscope is to share events as they occur. At this point, users primarily broadcast pretty views or snippets of everyday life, but there are other uses as well. People have already livestreamed newsworthy events like this explosion in New York City. Only time will tell how these apps will be utilized and how long the excitement will last.

When we compare functionality, these two apps are very similar. Both are used to broadcast live video from your phone. Both prevent any type of video editing. Both are integrated with Twitter. Both allow you to see who's currently watching your stream, and both make it easy for viewers to interact with the presenter through comments and hearts.

The Better App:

Meerkat had the advantage of a one-month head start. When it was released, it quickly recieved raving reviews and got quite a few high-profile users like Jimmy Fallon. Within a few weeks its founders received $14 million in venture capital.

Periscope took a different route. It was purchased by Twitter a few months before its release, and the creators spent more time polishing its design and adding functionality.

I've used both apps since they were released, and at this point I prefer Periscope. It has a more polished feel, and I think being owned by Twitter is a big advantage in the long term. Twitter has already strategically prevented some Meerkat integration, and over time this will widen the gap between the two.

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  • What do you think of live video as a form of social media?
  • Which of these apps have you tried? How do you like it?
  • If you've used both, which do you prefer?
  • What do you see as the future of live video?
  • Which app do you think will prevail as the industry leader?