What the Hell Is Meerkat?

/ Mar 6, 2015

Live-streaming service Meerkat offers new feature

Meerkat, a new live-streaming video service has been all over the news — er, at least our world’s news due to its potential impact. What you probably know about the app so far is that it primarily operates through Twitter (where it’s taken the platform by storm) and focuses on user-generated content. Meerkat also has some important applications for creators, as major publishers have already used the service to live-stream their video content the masses (yes, Meerkat’s user base can already be defined as “the masses”).

Before buying blindly into all the hype (because lots of hype doesn’t necessarily guarantee longevity), let’s take a look at what Meerkat actually is, where it comes from, and where it might be heading.

Who created it?

Itai Danino, the chief technical officer of startup video-streaming company, Life On Air Inc., created Meerkat originally as a side project for the company (which was mainly focusing on an app called Air). Life On Air Inc. is a portfolio company for Israeli venture firm Aleph. It’s led by co-founder and CEO Ben Rubin.

When did it launch?

Meerkat launched on Friday, February 27. It became more than a side project starting March 3, by which time it had picked up serious traction and the startup decided to put its entire, 10-person team to work on the project.

The app grew from Life On Air’s original project Yevvo, a live-streaming platform aimed in part to help people keep in touch with friends and family in other parts of the world and in part at well-known video creators/celebs wanting to create live content to easily share with their fans. Side project Meerkat came from the company deciding to focus more on Yevvo’s second use.

What exactly is Meerkat, and how does it work?

Meerkat is a live-streaming video app that’s designed specifically to work on Twitter. Once you start a streaming broadcast on it, it will notify your Meerkat-using Twitter followers so they can watch your video live and interact with it through Twitter comments. Like Snapchat, your Meerkat video will disappear once you’re done streaming it…or you can simply save it to your smartphone.

How many people are on Meerkat?

The company isn’t naming exact numbers now, but Ryan Cooley, a member of the Meerkat team, hinted in a Wall Street Journal interview that the “engagement rate is incredible.” Media outlets have reported that 15,000 users have already signed up for the service (a figure Rubin had provided a few days ago). Also according to WSJ, Apple’s data service Topsy reported that Twitter mentions of #Meerkat increased from 500 to nearly 4,000 between February 27 and March 3, when the whole Life On Air team started focusing on the app.

How has Meerkat been used so far?

One of the biggest videos so far on the app came from Yahoo News. Yahoo interviewed Senator John Thune over Meerkat, which meant that people watching could interact by asking the senator their own questions. Putting people in the US directly in touch with one of their senators is a pretty important use of the app and points to lots of possibilities.

What might Twitter do about the new livestreaming app?

Twitter has a couple of options, here. The company launched its own video player in January, so it might go the way of focusing on its own player’s improvement and livestreaming capabilities. On the other hand, the social app could go ahead and acquire Meerkat, since it’s already proved its popularity on Twitter.

On March 2, Twitter actually stopped allowing Meerkat users to tweet, but it restored the ability later that day. Rubin explained the initial block as an automatic reaction from Twitter (not them feeling the threat of a fast-growing, new startup), and that Twitter has been very helpful in making the app work with its service, as reported by TechCrunch. Obviously, the new app has shown its value to Twitter in a very short time span.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Clearly someone has friends at Meerkat. I hope it’s a hit, but these numbers nor the players involved constitute such hype. Again, that said, I hope it’s acquired by Twitter and everyone turns up at the partaaayy! 😉

Amazon Logo

Amazon Greenlights Three Comedy Pilots as Series


How the Cartoon Network Combined the Best of VOD and Linear TV...


Jukin Media Goes Viral for Brands with Ethos Division Launch

Streamy Awards

Streamy Awards Trade In VH1 for YouTube, Again

Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!

Matching Ads to Videos Not So Simple, According to Zefr’s...


Plug Pulled on Canadian SVOD Service Shomi


What’s Trending on the Twitter Sale

Machinima Logo

Machinima Teams with SiriusXM for Daily Esports Radio Show


AwesomenessTV, Vice, Complex to Power New HearstLive...


VIDEO: ‘Dirty 30’ Confessions with Stars Hart,...


Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...


Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...


Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...


How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...


Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall


HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...


YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation


How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...


Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’


Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...


Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...


Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...


Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff


Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down


Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?


Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...


What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?


How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...


Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries


Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...


Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series


Verizon and Hearst Move RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV Under...


Twitter Launches Live Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV...

YouTube Community

YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

Casual Hulu

Vimeo Opening Television Store with Lionsgate Content, Launching...

A Perfect Day in LA Tastemade Jaunt VR Virtual Reality

From Donuts to Malibu, Tastemade and Jaunt Get Immersive in...

Defy Media

Defy Media Close $70 Million Series B Funding Round

YouTube Space LA Halloween Set 2016

YouTube Spaces Team with Jason Blum (‘The Purge’)...