Since starting with Meerkat last week I’ve been using the service pretty extensively. I get the push notifications for friends and those I follow, and I tune in to a good number of them.
I’m sure that won’t scale as the platform grows, but it’s fun for now and pretty fascinating. Some of the things Meerkat has let me be a part of in the past week:
- friends on spring break drinking at Texas A&M in College Station, interviewing people about their favorite beers;
- a 600+ person livestream from a wine bar in San Francisco that raised $1,000 toward a Charity:Water well for an African community;
- Matt Mazzeo live streaming from Los Angeles in Runyon Canyon about a nonprofit cause and bringing me a view of the city on a Saturday morning;
- joining some friends at a restaurant in Chicago and getting to be a wallflower listening in on their conversation and feeling a part of it;
- watching the sun set on the Pacific from Venice Beach in Los Angeles
Meerkat feels much more intimate, much more meaningful than other social media. It makes most podcasts feel either overproduced or stale.
The experience tends to really suffer when streaming over mobile data. This could effectively kill Meerkat in its infancy, especially in its most potentially powerful use cases of streaming a concert, protest, revolution, etc.
On the other hand, it’s not hard to imagine an option to toggle between streaming audio/video could both expand Meerkat’s use cases and serve as a short term hack to solve low connectivity problems.
In terms of monetization, it’s fascinating to think about “standard” live-and-it’s-gone Meerkat, and then a “subscription Meerkat” for professionals that lets them save/archive a certain number of streams per week.