Meerkat backs away from Twitter, adds Facebook login

The battle between Meerkat and Periscope could turn into a showdown between Facebook and Twitter

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 5, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3d9c

Will Facebook eventually buy live-video app Meerkat? That seems to be one of the big questions on the mind of Silicon Valley these days. At the very least, the two are partnering up, and joining forces to take on Twitter's Periscope.

This past weekend, Meerkat announced a new version of the app, which seemed designed to drag Facebook into being a major player in this new market by finally giving its users more options for where to stream their videos. The update now allows users to login to Meerkat through their Facebook account.

"Expand your reach by linking your Meerkat account to a business, brand, or organization’s Facebook Page and post live and upcoming streams for your Facebook audience to subscribe and tune-in," Meerkat wrote. "Bonus: a Twitter account is optional. Your audience can sign in with Facebook Connect to view your streams."

In addition, the app also now lets users integrate their address book in order to add more friends to their network.

This is a really big deal for Meerkat because, for the first time ever, users can sign into Meerkat without a needing to have a Twitter account. This marks a major step forward for the app if it wants to survive  going forward.

When Meerkat first premiered a few months ago it relied exclusively on Twitter, meaning that any live-streams would automatically be sent to the user's Twitter account, rather than giving users the option to post on other social networks. That  decision was likely a smart one for Meerkat in the beginning, and allows it to be somewhat successful, but it eventually came back to bite it when Twitter cut the app off from its social graph.

Twitter then went ahead and bought its own competitor to the service, acquiring live-streaming platform Periscope, for around $100 million, meaning that the company now had an active reason to want Meerkat to fail.

Periscope has become incredibly popular very quickly: in an earnings call earlier this month, CEO Dick Costolo revealed that the service had reached 1 million users within its first 10 days.

What this all means is that Meerkat can no longer rely on Twitter if it wishes to be successful, but it has found a more than adequate substitute in Facebook. In fact, likely to no one's surprise, rumors have been flying around that Facebook might actually buy Meerkat, though neither side has said anything definitive about this so far. 

The move would make a lot of sense from Facebook's perspective. Not only would that allow Facebook to actively compete in the area of live-streaming against Twitter, but it would also continue its trend toward offering video services, something that company has been accelling at lately. 

Since July of last year, Facebook has been seeing over one billion views every single day, with 65% of those views occurring on a mobile device. Facebook has over 1.2 billion users, and now more than half of them watch at least one video day.

n January the company revealed that, in just the last year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally. That number is even higher, 94%, in the United States. That has amounted to the number of videos, from both users and from advertisers, increased 3.6 times in that span.

In April the company launched Riff, a stand-alone video collaboration tool, and then added a video-calling feature to Messenger.

(Image source: medium.com)

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