Jul 06 State of Social Livestreaming: Meerkat vs. Periscope
Ever since Meerkat and Periscope launched in March, they have been going round for round trying to become the leader in social livestreaming. Meerkat took the early advantage being the first mover and capitalizing on the buzz at SXSW. But, thanks to its relationship with Twitter, Periscope quickly caught up by acquiring 1 million users within their first 10 days. Both Meerkat and Periscope are still in their infancy, so let’s take a closer at both apps and the livestreaming space.
Meerkat with 2M+ Users
Meerkat was first on the scene and captured many early tech adopters. The app didn’t have as fast of a start as Periscope, but they now have around 2 million users. In the early days, Meerkat had access to Twitter’s social graph, but that ended when Periscope launched. Despite this big setback, Meerkat has continued to try to differentiate themselves to stay relevant. Meerkat now allows users the ability to share streams on Facebook, something Periscope will likely stay away from. They are also leveraging the current trend of ephemeral messaging that Snapchat has made popular.
Periscope Now Supported on Android Devices
Periscope launched just a few weeks after Meerkat but their app has a strong competitive advantage by having Twitter in their corner. Their partnership with Twitter gives them the edge when it comes to finding friends on the app and overall ease-of-use. However, users are not required to have a Twitter account to sign up for Periscope. Recently, they announced that people would be able to sign up via their phone number to allow for more flexibility and attract new users. Additionally, at the end of May, Periscope finally released the Android version of their app. The app release has generated new excitement around Periscope, so it will be interesting to see if they can keep up the momentum.
State of Livestreaming
Overall, social livestreaming has a long way to go in terms of adoption by users. Only 20% of web users have tried or would consider trying Meerkat and/or Periscope. Obviously, this form of content sharing is most popular with 18-34 years, half of which have either used or would use these apps. Despite the buzz that Meerkat and Periscope received around SXSW and the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, both apps have low awareness. Meerkat has a 9% awareness among internet users, followed by Periscope with only 6%. A few brands have tested the waters with Meerkat (Verizon and Starbucks), and Periscope (GE and Spotify), but low awareness could be a main factor on why more major brands haven’t jumped in head first. Also, the real-time nature of the apps could cause hesitation among many brand’s legal teams. However, those willing to take the risk could provide their fans with a truly interactive experience.
Will you be one of the early brands testing Meerkat or Periscope?