The Day I Stopped Everything for Meerkat

I used to love to play videogames. In fact, I would play Destiny as much as my schedule would allow. At night when my wife and daughter would sleep I would play for a couple of hours to unwind. However, in the past month or so, my XBOX One has gone unused as I continue to blog, podcast, and create while they sleep.

All of this changed 14 days ago when Meerkat launched.

Meerkat is an app that allows a user to stream live video via Twitter to create ephemeral moments in one’s life. While streaming video is nothing new I have not seen the sorts of people on the app excited to talk about it, social media + tech luminaries, since I joined Twitter in 2006. Back then I really didn’t get Twitter and in radio it wasn’t “a thing” so I gave up before I learned it which is a shame because today it is my favorite app. I feel the commuity there is richer, more open to conversation, and more apt to share — thus a more social experience.

Now if Twitter were a Mogwai and you fed it after midnight while giving it a bath, that is what Meerkat is right now.

The monster running amok in the social space that lots of people are playing with, breaking, hoping to understand, and testing. On Meerkat you can see people driving to work, touring their workplaces and pitching open jobs, doing AMAs about everything from venture capital, to social media, to sex, to NFL free agency, and everything inbetween.

I cannot get enough of what is happening here.

The community that is building around this app is something I want everyone to experience. Watching people build shows or broadcasts about topics they are passionate about is, for me, what the web (not the Internet they are different things) was built for.

It is VERY early in the lifecycle of Meerkat and with Twitter threatening tolaunch Periscope as a rival streaming service there is the threat that Twitter may do to Meerkat what they did to Instagram — which would be a shame.

Because Twitter should use this momentum to their advantage. Let’s remember that Twitter has a native video function that I don’t see ANYONE using and the Gary Vaynerchuk rule of first one in might hold true here and Periscope might be what Twitter wants to do, but if they don’t get it up and running by tomorrow — the critical mass of SXSW will kill any chance that Periscope has to catch on.

Remember SocialCam? Neither do I.

I cannot get enough of Meerkat and experimenting with what works on the app and I hope that you spend some time doing the same. We live in amazing times and when things like Meerkat happen it is fun to be in the thick of it.

Eric HultgrenComment