Social streaming (wat)

July 08 - 23:00

I heard about Meerkat long ago, then I heard Twitter killed it instantly with Periscope. I didn't bother to check out either app, but I just downloaded Meerkat last night and instantly I was sucked into this new, weird way of people broadcasting themselves.

The first stream I saw was of a guy who was on the phone with a customer trying to get a package rerouted that ended up at a kebab shop somewhere. It was real-life drama! Well, it was everyday stuff I guess, but it was so captivating that I couldn't let the stream go until he hung up the phone!

The second stream I jumped on was of 2 teenagers from Hawaii, when I came in they had been to a bakery and something went wrong with their order or someone jumped the line, it doesn't matter. The point is that an absurd amount of people were watching this teenage girl rant about what went on in the bakery.

I downloaded Periscope this morning, and my initial feelings aren't great. Periscope does have some neat things that Meerkat does not, for example Periscope has a map view of online streams where Meerkat has a long obscure list of streams. But I feel that Meerkat has way better video-quality, and maybe a better community (I can't really judge that yet and I am currently biased towards Meerkat).

I logged on Meerkat today and all the streams had the word 'cameo' in them, and I saw that @appmeerkat was streaming so I jumped on that stream and, there's a Meerkat employee hosting the stream and people were asking a lot of questions about this cameo thing, and he was explaining that it's this new feature that just came out today on iOS (instant-update-time!), basically it enables the streamer to let a viewer take over the stream for 60 seconds and do their thing! People have been trying out the new feature all day since it came out and it's awesome how the community jumps on it immediately.

The first impression of the cameo feature is that it's sort of buggy, the app crashes spontaneously, cameo requests aren't going through and some other wonkiness, but it seems the community is pretty okay with that at least for now.

So this social streaming, huh? Why is it so interesting?