Periscope and Meerkat apps

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Up Periscope – the epic battle between Meerkat and Twitter’s newest app.

The battle for streaming video dominance is sure to be engaging viewing.

Twitter has introduced Periscope, a new app that lets you share and experience live video from your mobile phone.

The brief blurb on the Periscope website reads…

“Just over a year ago, we became fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realised there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.”

Simple enough? Sure!

But it appears that battle lines have being drawn in the fight for market dominance of video live-streaming on smartphones.

Fast-rising rival Meerkat, was hit earlier this month when Twitter cut their access to some features which could limit its ability to grow.

The same day Twitter announced the new app, Meerkat announced it had raised $US14 million in venture funding, and founder Ben Rubin was unfazed by the Twitter announcement describing Periscope as “a very slick product, a very beautiful product” and expressing his view that there is room for multiple players in live video.

“If you have a good idea and you don’t think there’s 10 other smart teams working on it already, then you don’t have a good idea,” he says.

Meerkat announced in a blog post recently that the funding round participants included Greylock Partners, Comcast Ventures, Entree Capital, Raine Ventures, Sherpa, Slow Ventures, Universal Music Group, “and many awesome friends like (actor) Jared Leto, (investor) David Tisch and (YouTube co-founder) Chad Hurley”.

The funding certainly has star power as well with participation from the United Talent Agency (UTA) which represents Hollywood actors and Sound Ventures, which includes the actor Ashton Kutcher.

“We aspire to become the most comprehensive and most impactful participatory live streaming community,” Meerkat’s blog says.

Meerkat has certainly become a key political tool in recent weeks, with Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush “meerkatting” his speech last week before Georgia’s state legislature.

“Every minute — literally every minute — of every day of the campaign will be available live to anyone who wants it, no matter where they are,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, wrote in a column.

The Meerkat numbers are quite astounding with the app surpassing the 300,000 user mark a couple of weeks after launching with around 230 per cent daily growth.

Commercial uses for Meerkat-like apps are also likely. Because video has a stronger impact than other content, apps like Periscope and Meerkat have an opportunity to change social media forever and make a big impact on digital marketing.

Meerkat community director, Ryan Cooley believes the tech company intends to be increasingly responsive to brand marketers’ needs as time progresses, but for now, it doesn’t want to lose its democratic appeal to consumers.

“It’s only 30-days old, so we don’t want to create a premature hierarchy within the platform,” he says.

“We want to make sure the core experience is the best we can make it for everyone. It’s going to be a product for the people, whether you have 40 Twitter followers or 18 million followers.”

Wow what a ride in just a few weeks, and with the arrival of Periscope it promises to be even more eventful.

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