Social Media

Meerkat succumbs to Facebook and Periscope's dominance and bows out


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

March 5, 2016 | 3 min read

One of the founding fathers of live streaming app craze, Meerkat, has announced that it will cease live broadcast and move to a video social network model.

The changes comes as a result of a the company's failure to compete with Facebook and its Twitter-owned rival Periscope which launched just weeks as Meerkat's high profile SXSW 2015 debute.

News of the decision was revealed by Re/code, who obtained emails sent to investors which discussed the changes with Meerkat's chief executive Ben Rubin.

Meerkat stops live broadcasts

In the email Rubin told investors that “mobile broadcast video hasn’t quite exploded as quickly as we’d hoped. The distribution advantages of Twitter/Periscope and Facebook Live drew more early users to them away from us and we were not able to grow as quickly alongside as we had planned.”

It's inability to compete with Periscope is likely a result of its Twitter centric strategy which built much of its social graph on the platform, however Twitter pulled the integration when it launched Periscope.

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Rubin said that Meercat will now be reshaped into "a social network where “everybody is always live," in order to avoid pushing forward with a business that cannot compete and would eventually have to sell.

Little is known about the new direction although the brief description makes the new model sound similar to Google Hangouts or Skype, with a priority on smaller, group video chats with people you know as opposed to unconnected people joining in. Rubin revealed that the company should have something in the next three months or so.

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