It feels like everyone in the tech world right now are talking about Meerkat, the mobile video livestreaming app. SXSW has been good to the 11 man team with them reporting over 30% increase in users when the event kicked off. Add on top some Twitter controversy as they throttle the apps access to their social graph in preparation for their own livestreaming service and you have an app that every early adopter is excited about. “Meerkating” has already become a descriptive term.
Bringing an easy livestreaming service to the masses has an incredible amount of power, as we’ve already witnessed with the likes of Twitch and YouTube. Now that it has gone mobile the digital Wild West has become even busier.
I’ve watched Pete Cashmore tour SXSW which included an ad hock interview with Ryan from Meerkat, a chef preparing Pizza’s in his restaurant, book signings, random puppies (can someone please Meerkat a Meerkat already?!) and more interestingly a goal in the NYC v NYE match which was being livestreamed by Dennis Crowley, the CEO of Foursquare. All of these things show how transformative bringing livestreaming to everyday people could become and adds another rights headache to companies who are already struggling with the likes of Vine.
If Meerkat can cement itself, or even if Twitter’s own Periscope takes off, what is going to stop people from livestreaming from football matches, Comicon panels, award ceremonies and the likes? There is definitely a world of new mobile “livestreamers” coming and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Jermoe Jarre really nail the possibilities of these new live platforms.
During the moment that Meerkat’s Ryan found Pete and his Mashable Meerkat crowd at SXSW he gave a really interesting interview. One moment struck me when mentioned about working on a private service so that people can share more intimate moments with close friends and family. It is this kind of thinking that makes me feel perhaps Meerkat are on to something. If they can nail broadcasting and make it just as easy for me to livestream to a close group of friends then they could well start to be able to move away from relying on the social graph of another platform and begin to build their own.
Do I see a high profile buyout of Meerkat in the future? Perhaps. Although the indie app developer part of me hopes they keep building on their own terms for a while yet.
Oh and by the way, the goal was called offside and sadly I was so into watching I forgot to take a screen grab. So to sign off here is a shot from another interesting Meerkat stream.