Meerkat was one of the hottest things at this year’s SXSW and that popularity carried over to the outside world as well. the live streaming app exploded in popularity, became one of the most talked about apps out there, and raised more than $14 million in funding from some big names in bot Silicon Valley and Hollywood. So what now? Well, the initial hype has died down and Twitter’s own competitor has been released and now Meerket is starting to tank.
After bursting onto the scene through the trend-spotting site Product Hunt and winning the hearts and minds of the crowd gathered at SXSW, Meerkat announced $14 million in funding from big names in Silicon Valley and Hollywood. That same day, Meerkat’s popularity in the app store peaked, then started to fall off a cliff, plunging out of the top 500 before stabilizing this morning. So what happened? There are some simple explanations. Meerkat founder and CEO Ben Rubin says the company was featured in the app store for a week, saw a huge spike in downloads, and is now simply back to where it began. Meerkat’s popularity is sliding because its hype got ahead of its actual traction, and we are now seeing a correction as the press and promotion dies down. Last Thursday was also the day that Twitter debuted its Meerkat competitor, Periscope. I watched as many of the early adopters who had been experimenting with Meerkat moved over and started using Periscope instead. It wasn’t a total exodus, but where there had been effectively one choice, there were now two. And three days later, no doubt thanks to the power of its parent company, Periscope had passed Meerkat in size, at least in terms of Twitter mentions, which is the central mechanism for distribution for both.