Meerkat is Back With a New App

Pioneer livestreaming company Meerkat pivoted and now has a new product. “Meerkat, which sparked new interest in mobile broadcasting before sputtering amid competition from Facebook and Twitter, has returned with Houseparty. It’s an app for video chatting with friends that the company is calling a ‘synchronous social network’ — a place to be together even when you’re apart.”

Meerkat is Pivoting

Livestreaming pioneer Meerkat is going to pivot. Good story from Re/Code. “Two weeks ago, Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin sent an email to his company’s 48 investors laying bare an observation that he’d made peace with months earlier: Meerkat, the livestreaming app that played the role of darling one year ago at the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, was failing.” Ben Rubin is handling this incredibly well.

Now Available: A Map of Meerkat Streams

There is now a map of Meerkat streams. “The app, which is hosted on Github, takes advantage of Meerkat’s API, which the company released in May. It’s very similar to the Global List already available in Meerkat’s competitor, Periscope: it groups streams in aggregate, so you can see from a zoomed out view how many are streaming in that area. But Meerkat Map actually breaks down further when you zoom in, so you could narrow down to the city level where streams are coming from. Which is either neat or completely creepy, depending on how you look at it.”

Live Streaming: Social Control from Afar

Interesting article from MIT Technology Review: Live Streaming: Social Control from Afar. “…there is something about the dynamics of a remote audience that seems to inspire otherwise reasonable people to cause trouble. This was one of the lessons we learned from an experiment we conducted at the MIT Media Lab in 2001. The setup was that an actor equipped with a camera mounted on her forehead and a backpack full of electronics would do whatever the audience (the “directors,” connected via the Internet) collectively decided she should do. Directors could suggest and vote on actions; every few minutes the highest-rated one would be sent to the actor to carry out. She ended up dancing on the table and eating from other people’s plates. Suggesting something transgressive was irresistible. “