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Meerkat: SXSW’s Breakout Video-Streaming App


From March 13 – 22, the South by Southwest Conferences & Festivals, commonly referred to as SXSW, hosted its annual festival in celebration of unique music, independent films and emerging technologies. Often over-shadowed by its musical showcases, SXSW is a breeding-ground for new media presentations where the most innovative and creative industry leaders come to showcase new products with the festival’s numerous audience members, many of whom are tech enthusiasts and early adaptors in addition to music and film aficionados.

While performances by popular artists such as Stromae, Best Coast and Miley Cyrus were highly anticipated, according to an article by Time, it was Meerkat, a new iOS livestreaming video app that “stole the show away.”

Recently launched on February 27 by a local startup tech company from San Francisco, Meerkat connects users on Twitter to broadcast themselves through video capabilities. Meerkat facilitates conversation between audiences in a simplistic manner. This new technological avenue is creating an enormous opportunity that brands should take advantage of in order to help promote business and create buzz. Meerkat is an example of the “massive shift in the way people will consume news, sports or entertainment.”

The app lets users “like” follower videos, see how many people are viewing their posts and send comments that show up on-screen in real-time connecting to both Twitter and Meerkat accounts. Another feature of this app includes viewing other users to see which individuals have a high-level of watch frequencies and schedule embargoed streams to notify followers at a later time.

Many attendees at the SXSW festival used Meerkat to livestream their daily activities and location to keep their social groups constantly updated on their experience. Celebrity endorsers, such as Jimmy Fallon, are also using this app to connect with fans.

With Twitter’s recent acquisition of Periscope, Meerkat advocates will have to wait and see how it will differentiate itself from competition. Will Meerkat reach out to other social graphs to maintain popularity with users?

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