Social media has evolved beyond the occasional status update — it follows us all times of the day. Recently, the social feed of tweets, images, videos, pins, snaps and posts has evolved into a shiny new toy that allows us to continuously broadcast our lives via our phones in real time: the livestream app.
Vertical livestreaming, a new buzzword to add to our vernacular, has taken the digital world by storm, connecting users around the world to breaking news, sporting events, concerts, product launches and more. It's just like FaceTime, except now the audience is everyone. The first mainstream app to make its mark was Meerkat, an app that has generated a loyal community of nearly two million users. Soon after Meerkat’s launch, Periscope came onto the scene with a very important parent company in their corner, Twitter. The livestreaming app gained one million users within just ten days of its release in the Apple App Store.
I know what you may be thinking. So why should I even care? Another app I need to download and use? Ugh, not again! Well, if your brand’s target age group is eighteen to thirty four, the age group most likely to try these apps, you should consider experimenting with them. Ultimately, Periscope, Meerkat and other broadcast video apps provide a great way to build up excitement over announcements and events.
Let’s take a look at when you should use each app: the tl;dr version.
Meerkat users must sign up with a Twitter account, so everything that happens on the platform also happens on Twitter. Every time they like a stream or comment on something they’re watching, the actions are reflected in their Twitter account. You can use Meerkat to record countless moments such as interviews, debates and conversations. The possibilities are endless, so get creative. It's also easy to multitask. You are able to go through the activity and feed while viewing the livestream window.
Twitter’s livestreaming app made its mark during the East Village fire in New York City in March as well as the highly-anticipated Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing fight in May. Periscope is the preferred medium for breaking news and sporting events because the interface is sleeker and more engaging. Periscope draws people in for exclusive insights on events like upcoming promotions, product launches and company announcements.
So who’s the winner? In my opinion, both apps compliment each other because they have different core purposes and content objectives. Although Periscope may be beating Meerkat in number of users, I wouldn’t count Meerkat out just yet.
Do you prefer Meerkat or Periscope? How are you experimenting with livestreaming apps? Let us know in the comments below.