A lot has been made recently of the new P2P live video sharing services Meerkat and Periscope. If you use Twitter to acquire traffic, you may have already noticed a flurry of tweets that contained mrk.tv links. Those links were published via a new iOS app named Meerkat that was designed to bring live video streaming to Twitter users and it quickly became the death of most six second snippets of prerecorded video from Vine. The key to Meerkat’s early success was tweet-linked simplicity and the ability of anyone to broadcast live video from anywhere they wanted at any time. The implications for SFW cam girl opportunities and other non-adult promo material are obvious. Time Magazine even called it “the star of the SXSW” event this year… but Twitter had plans of its own.
Instead of partnering with Meerkat to make their technology massive, Twitter chose instead to buy a rival startup named Periscope and fully integrate it into the Twittersphere.
Part of the allure of Periscope appears to be technological advantages. For example you can decide whether to tweet a link as your live stream starts before broadcasting, you also have the option to create private broadcasts by tapping a lock icon (where SFW standards become much less restrictive), you can select specific people to see your live stream and you can even archive streams as prerecorded clips. However, the main reason for periscopetaking all the spotlight seems to be the desire of Twitter to own the technology outright instead of having to be betrothed to a third-party platform like Meerkat would have been.
The question now is where does Meerkat go from here? Some have suggested there may be a Facebook buy out in the future; others believe with a handful of upgrades it could even become its own platform to rival twitter. In any case, these new live streaming options are bringing engaging content to the messaging space in ways that were once reserved to video searches and adding a new personal touch to twitter communications that may soon make 140 character tweets little more than a list of video subject lines.