Meerkat is a simple app really, all it does is allow users to live stream from their smartphones and automatically tweets a link to their broadcast. The problem is that Periscope does pretty much the exact same thing except that it’s actually owned by Twitter which is why the company has been trying to hard to kill Meerkat in the womb. That obviously failed and now Twitter has been forced to release its live streaming app early.
Twitter live video broadcasting is a squall inside an ocean of social media activity, and bobbing frantically in the middle of it like a shiny buoy is Meerkat, the little video-streaming app that could. Social media users are flocking to its bright beacon. It is the app and the social activity of the moment. But slicing through the waves and headed right toward it is Periscope. It, too, is a live video streaming app. Like Meerkat, it’s connected to Twitter. However that connection is deeper because, for all intents and purposes, Twitter is the submarine just below the surface the ocean that Periscope is connected to. It’s likely that, if Meerkat had not exploded the way it did, Twitter might have kept its Periscope app (free in the App Store starting Thursday) below the surface for a while longer, but now any delay could spell disaster for Twitter’s live video streaming plans. Meerkat’s undeniable popularity and reportedly explosive growth had to be cause for concern in the halls of Twitter. The micro-blogging social media giant bought Periscope just weeks ago, mere days before Meerkat went from unknown to the app everyone from Jimmy Fallon to Gary Vaynerchuk to Al Roker is using.