I first learned about Meerkat at the beginning of March when I saw David Tisch live stream his team working at Box Group.
My admiration for David and the realization that I was seeing exactly what he was doing while on the other side of the country left me intrigued by the app.
I quickly reached out to Ben Rubin, Meerkat’s founder, shared the app with my family, and went on with the rest of my day.
Within hours tweets like Kellee Khalil’s “|LIVE NOW| Live from Loverly HQ #meerkat” filled my Twitter stream.
Meerkat quickly exploded. The app took SXSW by storm, faced new competition, and raised a speedy round of financing all in less than a month.
I’ve really enjoyed watching the live streaming video story unfold.
From Ben’s personal blogs to people live streaming the hugely hyped fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao last weekend, the whirlwind exposed me to a new era of participatory media as well as how fickle the media can be.
My favorite part of the story thus far is watching Ben lead the team and interact with the Meerkat community.
Whether he was sharing this response to a fellow founder on Product Hunt, testing out Meerkat’s competitor Periscope, or managing his team in Israel and San Francisco, Ben’s continued to be poised under what I perceived to be a tremendous amount of stress.
I was lucky to spend time with Ben who shared that all of this the hype is simply a part of the process.
The Meerkat team has a product to build and a community to focus on.
These are the details he shared about this month’s exciting updates during our conversation.
- You can now use your address book to find friends to follow. (Surprise! Grandma has Meerkat!)
- Users now have the ability to share live and upcoming streams on Facebook.
- A new Mobbing feature (love the name!) will aggregate popular streams that meet a certain criteria in your main activity feed.
- Viewers can turn themselves into an emoji while viewing a live stream.
Meerkat also opened their API to empower developers to collaborate in the live streaming space. 37 apps are currently being built on Meerkat’s platform. They’re excited to welcome more to the family.
To the individuals who are unsure about live video, which app will reign victorious in the battle conceived in the media, and whether there’s room for other players in the space, it’s simply too early to tell.
Ben feels this month will be the beginning of an immersive learning process for the Meerkat team. Their main goal is to make live streaming a habit.
We are humble enough to not get excited and be focused.
The single point he does make, however, is how important live is to the team.
It should be very clear that we are about the now and that’s what is important.
To learn more about Ben’s journey leading the team, where he feels Meerkat fits in the participatory media space (he wrote a great post about it here), and what we can expect in the future tune into his 33founders interview. You can also download Meerkat for iOS and Android.