Earlier this month, Meerkat, a new video app, was introduced and touted as being a true game changer for how we communicate with each other through social media. But what is Meerkat? And is it relevant to your business?
What is Meerkat?
Meerkat isn’t just an adorable animal that lives in the deserts of Africa. It is also the name of Ben Rubin’s new streaming video app. It allows a user to stream video from their phone or tablet and have it air on their Twitter feed, live. A message is created on Twitter that invites people to watch the feed and Meerkat announces that the feed is now live on their network. It also keeps note of how many people are viewing the feed to create a social game from the content and experience.
Meerkat lets you to create your own branded streaming video channel. It doesn’t require anything more than access to your mobile camera to create the feed. Your video isn’t interrupted by commercials and you aren’t asked to purchase server space if you are expecting a large audience. You get to air your original content fast, easy and free. They also have celebrity endorsements, tons of press during SXSW, and a recent estimated investment of $12 million.
It’s only been live for about three weeks, so there may be some uncertainty about the product when hiccups and bugs occur. It also has been so popular, that Twitter now sees it as a threat. They banned Meerkat from using their social graph, which means your Meerkat account won’t automatically find other Twitter followers who use the app and connect you together in Meerkat’s network. Twitter also bought a competing app, hoping that they can become a live streaming video giant before Meerkat can recover.
How You Can Use It
Meerkat is on to something. Who knows what the future holds for this particular app, but streaming video is a key component to modern communication. It seems that everyday I see people talking with a video chat instead of making a phone call. Millions of people watch vlogs (video blogs) on Youtube and have turned budding filmmakers into celebrities. Having the opportunity to film a special event, news, or announcement and making it instantly accessible to everyone through social media could be the future for viral and social marketing.
This type of technology could offer new ways to create a relationship with your consumers. You can highlight or promote a special presentation. You can take viewers on a tour of a new building. You can introduce a chef and showcase a live demo of food preparation. Maybe a celebrity guest is coming to your store and you want to capture the live excitement of the event.
Research and download Meerkat and see if this app could be a new tool your business can use to create excitement, buzz and popularity.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.