While its rival Periscope was busy celebrating the fact that many viewers of the much-hyped Mayweather-Pacquiao fight chose to watch the match on Periscope instead of on HBO or Showtime, Meerkat continues to add enhancements to its mobile app. And this time around, the latest update could allow Meerkat to break out from its dependence on Twitter (which owns Periscope).
Indeed, the Meerkat mobile app now has support for Facebook. This newest additional feature was deployed over the weekend. With this latest improvement, users of Meerkat can now share their ongoing and upcoming live video streams to all their Facebook contacts. Moreover, the Meerkat app now also comes with support for Address Book integration, which means users can now automatically connect with their contacts directly via Meerkat.
This is a significant development for Meerkat. Ever since the live video streaming mobile app was released, it had depended exclusively on Twitter in allowing its users to share live video streams to their friends. Basically, when a user would begin to stream live, a link would be automatically generated in his Twitter account, alerting his followers of the live video streaming.
The feature worked well, and even catapulted Meerkat to the masses. But when Twitter announced that it was releasing its own live video streaming service Periscope, Meerkat suddenly had a competitor in its midst. And what is worse -- the rival is owned by the company in which Meerkat is exclusively relying on. Awkward.
Of course, it is now in Twitter's best interest to see its own Periscope succeed, which means that Meerkat will have to stop relying so much on Twitter from then on. Meerkat will still post links to live streams on Twitter, but now that it has support for Facebook, it can now ride on something that is not owned by a company with a conflicting interest. Furthermore, considering that Periscope is owned by Twitter, it will not likely add support for Facebook, too, which competes with Twitter as a social media platform.
More importantly for Meerkat, it can now differentiate itself from Periscope. After all, Meerkat has always been the quicker one to things -- just a week ago, it launched its mobile app for the Android platform, while Periscope has yet to come up with theirs.
Meerkat also has a new feature called "mobbing." Whenever a certain live video stream reaches a certain number of viewers, Meerkat will proceed to syndicating it to its official feed. This way, live video streams can reach an even broader audience, while at the same time, recognizing and rewarding users who are starting to gain a solid following.
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