When social media began growing in popularity for brands (circa 2009), the strategy was to have a presence. Since that time, brands have done everything from buying followers to claim the first in their field to 100, 1000, 10,000 or even 1 million followers to understand the return on investment of a social media strategy to sharing engaging content and images. We’re now in the age of livestreaming and no one is doing it better than Meerkat and Periscope.

What’s the appeal of livestreaming?

Livestreaming allows users to show real time videos. From business meetings and webinars to walking down the street or eating lunch, people, brands, and businesses are livestreaming to the followers. People increasingly want to see the behind the scenes view of their favorite businesses and celebrities and Meerkat and Periscope are answering the call.

The question now is who will become the frontrunner in the ongoing battle of Meerkat vs. Periscope. (Think Facebook vs. MySpace)

Periscope, at least from the Phoenix social media community, seems to be a better option for audience engagement. Granted that is a small sample group but it’s supported by this article from SocialTimes which names Periscope as the west coast favorite versus Meerkat as the east coast favorite.

Meerkat vs. Periscope

Meerkat was released in March 2015 to Twitter users. By mid-March Twitter had pulled the plug on Meerkat’s API and we learned why. At South by Southwest (SXSW) 2015, Twitter officially announced acquisition of Periscope, Meerkat’s biggest competitor to date. Since the announcement, Meerkat has found a workaround to the Twitter API issue and Periscope is growing in popularity.

Periscope broadcasts, called scopes, are available for 24 hours making them sought-after or easily forgotten depending on viewer reactions. Because of the Twitter integration, users are able to follow their Twitter friends who are also on Periscope. Pretty simple to grow a following and scopes are shared with a live link on Twitter feeds. The link can then be shared on other social media sites.

Meerkat on the other hand, can be challenging if you’re seeking to grow a following beyond your initial audience. They recently released a feature where broadcasters can invite viewers to take over their stream for up to 60 seconds creating an interactive livestream. It will be interesting to see where that goes in terms of engagement. Meerkat also offers a WordPress plug-in so streams can be embedded onto a website just like other social media. That means viewers just need to be on your website to see your stream, not on the app.
Whether it’s Meerkat or Periscope, one thing is clear: Livestream is making an impact in online communities. If you’re interested in learning how social media can make an impact on your brand, call SocialTech Consulting today!