It was March 2015. I was en route to a social media conference and trying to download the latest app. I had been waiting on this app and finally Periscope had arrived. Meerkat had made a big splash at SXSW and the rumors of Twitter’s Periscope were all the rage.
I remember joining a Twitter Chat that was also being live-steamed via Meerkat. I thought it was cool because the people hosting the chat were in one room; they were Meerkating from their devices. It gave a real-time, behind-the-scenes look at what was happening.
Meerkat’s popularity grew at the conference and eventually SXSW had to post signs outside of sessions to deter attendees from Meerkating them. Tickets to SXSW are not cheap. I can understand the organizers not wanting to provide free content. SXSW was a precursor to the personal live-streaming phenomena gaining buzz.
Video has long be regarded as the vanguard. No one knew what to expect with it being live. The hope was for it to become more than another way to broadcast your life no matter how boring or monotonous it may be.
In late March we had a battle between Meerkat and Periscope. Who would win and why?
I remember my friend Eric T. Tung, who is deeper in the trenches of social media reality than almost anyone I know, adding Periscope to his presentation at the conference. He decided to live stream his presentation, but which platform would he choose?
He wouldn’t choose. He had a nice setup. He had two phones both with tripods and was Persicoping and Meerkating at the same time. He was committed to capturing both audiences.
The Periscope alert ended up driving me nuts after a while. I did like the user interface more than I did on Meerkat. At first there was an issue of the live streams going away as do snaps on Snapchat, or so they say. With Periscope you could download your session.
This allowed you to post it to you blog or upload it YouTube, Dropbox or wherever you wanted. Even if you happened to forget to save it, there are a few tedious methods to get it within 24 hours. I had to embark on this journey once, but never again.
Katch, which came on the scene three weeks after Meerkat launched has announced it is shutting down. The company’s farewell write-up doesn’t really say why. Live streaming isn’t going anywhere, so why are they? Well, Meerkat looks to be pivoting to a video social media network, according to Re/code.
If anything, Meerkat, Katch and Periscope validated the live streaming concept. Vertical video was once highly frowned upon, but Snapchat, Meerkat and Periscope made it more acceptable. Live streaming is not new, but putting the technology in the hands of the masses is.
Think about how Snapchat started off with private snaps. Recently there has been an increase in their Live Story feature at events. When the juggernaut of social media, Facebook, opened Facebook Live to everyone, the game officially changed. It looks like it took the best features from Instagram, Snapchat, Meerkat and Periscope.
Live streaming is here to stay. Pretty soon, we’ll be probably be talking about virtual reality and social media. Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR should have put you on notice. I hope you’re ready for the Wearables Revolution. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.