Meerkat and Periscope: the evolution of Twitter

The social media world was rocked this past week with the announcement that Twitter CEO, Dick Costelo, was stepping  down, and @Jack (one of the three original founders of Twitter) was taking his place.

I’ve been on Twitter for 7 years, now, and when you look at how it’s changed and evolved over the years, as compared to say, Facebook, it really hasn’t changed much. When I first started Tweeting, we did it through the web, and by sending text messages on our phones (in a world where smartphones were yet to be invented). Other than Twitter inventing an app for smartphones (which has had, at least until lately, way better functionality than the web app), things are pretty much the same as they were 7 years ago.

There have been some recent improvements; you can now add comments to your retweets, and analytics are finally on board.

But now we have the ability to live stream video through our Twitter.

Twitter has always been an “in the moment” kind of tool. One of my favourite applications of twitter is live-tweeting (or watching live-tweets) of an event–a conference, the Oscars, or any other event that could be of interest to the general public and my followers.

Two new apps, Meerkat and Periscope, have taken our ability to live-tweet to the next level, and that level is live-streaming video.

I first heard about Periscope in late March. It had just been launched days before, and I was heading up to Squamish to speak at the CIMC Conference. It was a 2-day conference, and I couldn’t get there until the 2nd day. Instead of just live-tweeting what was happening at the conference (on a hashtag), people were live-streaming sessions on their phones, taking that live-tweeting experience to the next level (and giving their thumbs a break).

It’s been a few months since Periscope and Meerkat launched, and I’ve not yet written about them. To be honest, they were on my radar, but I was biding my time to see if they took off or not. Remember Ello? Yeah, me either.

Well, it appears they are taking off (and I now have clients requesting to use them as part of their social media strategy), so I’m devoting a couple of posts in the near future to this new medium.

Here’s how it works: 

  • Download the app (whichever one you prefer)
  • Sign in with your Twitter credentials
  • Find some people to follow (your twitter followers will show up, but you have to follow them here, as well)
  • Start live-streaming!

Which is better? 

  • Periscope has been purchased by Twitter, and has had a lot more funding invested in it, so it appears to be the front-runner at this point.
  • Meerkat, however, is thought to have a better chat function; any chatting that you do inside of a live stream is sent as a tweet.
  • The quality of Periscope’s video is generally thought to be better.
  • Meerkat doesn’t allow you to replay videos, but Periscope does, and to me, this is where the big difference comes in. Sure, Meerkat has FOMO going for it, but the reality is, I can’t sit down and watch videos all the time. The replay feature, to me, puts Periscope ahead of Meerkat for that reason.

I’m working on another post for you about how they work, and why marketers might want to start integrating them into their strategies. More later… but until then, an infographic that breaks down for you the differences between Periscope and Meerkat.

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Infographic courtesy of See Fit

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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