Will Meerkat be the next big thing on the social web?

On a snowy New York City morning this week I was catching up with a friend and industry thought leader, Likeable Media’s Michele Weisman. All of a sudden a Snapchat-looking yellow and white logo appeared as a push notification on her iPhone and she told me that MasterCard’s Gregg Weiss was currently live streaming on Meerkat.

At this moment I was introduced to the next big thing on the social web, that will for sure be the talk of the town at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival and conference next week.

Less than a week ago, Meerkat was unleashed by Ben Rubin, an Israeli entrepreneur who pivoted his company on a whim. The concept is simple – with one tap you can live stream from your iPhone and broadcast directly to your Twitter account.

Journalists, executives from brands and even celebrity Ashton Kutcher have begun live streaming themselves with Meerkat in the same kind of agenda-less format that made Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram instantly popular among the masses.

I instantly downloaded the app and spent a day trying to figure out why it kept crashing on my iPhone 6+ until Rubin himself and others gave me simple advice to delete my Twitter account in the native iPhone settings and re-add it. Now I had to plan my first short-form, live broadcast to the world.

I’ve always covered the TV industry but decided Meerkat was going to be the platform that enabled me to review my favorite TV shows in a simple and live video format. Yesterday, I grabbed my umbrella and went to the heart of a snowy Soho in Manhattan to launch the first-ever daily Meerkat TV-review show (that I know of). I offered a minute or so review of The Jinx, an amazing new documentary on HBO that has the depth and artistic vigor of the network combined with aSerial-like documentary story line.

I’ve now committed myself (for at least the short-term) to Meerkat every day around 12:45pm EST to offer the world some advice on what TV show they should be watching. The vibe and culture around this Snapchat meets Twitter meets Livestream type platform feels right and while even Rubin himself is concerned that the novelty will wear off, Meerkat might actually be the next big thing. You can tune in daily @twatan.

Natan Edelsburg is senior vice president at Sawhorse Media. He tweets @twatan

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