With a wealth of one-trick social sites and apps, and Facebook throwing every tool it can think of at it’s aging infrastructure and waiting to see what sticks, Meerkat is delivering a simple tool that may redefine how many users think of, and use, Twitter.
Meerkat is a video streaming tool for Twitter. Users need only have an iPhone – or soon, an Android phone – and a Twitter account, and they are broadcast-ready. To use Meerkat is as simple as downloading the Meerkat app to your iPhone, enter your Twitter credentials into the app, and then start broadcasting live video with just a few taps.
With competitors like Livestream and UStream pushing video streaming on a larger scale, catering to a more professional platform, Meerkat has discovered and laid claim to a unique space. Persons wishing to stream some live video without the need to fuss with meeting times, clunky interfaces, dial-in options, installing plug-ins and the rest of the work that comes with many streaming platforms. The simple app has only two options: schedule a stream for later, or start one now. Once rolling, a tweet notifies your followers that you’re broadcasting and they can follow along and comment as they watch.
Launched in February of this year, Meetkat was created by Ben Rubin, founder of stutter-stepping startups Yevvo and Air, both of which have been put to rest, leaving Rubin to focus on Meerkat.
Ironically, one of the investors in Yevvo made the suggestion for Rubin to focus on doing one thing well, and the two ideas that came up were one for sharing live video with small groups of friends, similar to Yevvo, and one for broadcasting over Twitter, which was fast-tracked under the name Meerkat. They developed the app over eight weeks with Rubin’s co-founder, Itai Danino, and a rocky build was submitted to Product Hunt, Silicon Valley’s destination for killer startups.
Next on the horizon for Meerkat is the development of an Android version of the app, and the world will watch to see if it’s foot truly takes hold in the social space. Regardless, it’s always fun watching Meerkats, and this one is no exception.