Meerkat might have been the biggest star of this year’s South By South West (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas. Just as quickly as it grew, it began to fizzle when Twitter launched Periscope a few days ago. It doesn’t matter to me, I’m sticking with Meerkat for one simple reason.
Streaming through Twitter is a feature people have wanted for a while. In January, Twitter purchased Periscope to bring the people what they wanted. But Meerkat grabbed the first mover advantage by taking over SXSW.
I even used the app to stream part of a Shinyribs concert. I have to admit, I consumed way more streaming than I contributed. That was mostly because I live in Austin and only went to the SXSW events I wanted to attend. Then I avoided the crowds and spent the rest of the time at home…watching Meerkats of others at SXSW.
When Twitter launched Periscope, I checked it out for a few minutes. In my opinion, it’s a nicer looking and smoother operating version of Meerkat. So I deleted it an kept my Meerkat for one simple reason.
Twitter gets what Twitter wants for the most part. I applaud them for purchasing Periscope in January and trying to adapt to what users want. But in the end, they got into the game too early. Remember when Facebook launched Slingshot? Don’t worry, most people don’t either. But it was their answer to SnapChat much like Periscope is Twitter’s answer to Meerkat.
Meerkat is small and nimble. Their subscriber numbers mean EVERYTHING right now. As such, they’ll do whatever they must to keep those subscribers. When Periscope launched, Meerkat programmers quickly adapted and released new features. Periscope hasn’t released new features.
That’s it. The only reason I’m keeping Meerkat and deleting Periscope is that Meerkat needs me and they’ll work their butts off to keep me. Periscope only cares about beating Meerkat. I want a service that adapts to me, not the market.
Once we’ve figured out how this streaming through Twitter thing is going to work, look, and function, then Twitter can buy Meerkat and I’ll be happy because the service has adapted to be what users want.
If Periscope wins out now, we’re all doomed to accept the service as Twitter wants it, not as we want it.