Let’s be social: Meet Meerkat & Periscope
“Dog hair is the best fashion accessory,” says Lee Turner as he brushes another tumbleweed of dog fur from his jeans.
I’m on minute 11 watching Jake the dog be de-tangled by his eclectic groomer from Camp Run-a-Mutt in San Diego. At the bottom of my screen, questions stream in real time, asking Lee about the dogs he works with, his prices, and even what kind of “clipper lube” he uses (It’s called Clipper Cool.)
I’ll clarify that I have no personal interest in dog grooming and have never heard of Camp Run-A-Mutt before. But I’m thoroughly engrossed within moments of watching my first Meerkat stream.
What are Meerkat and Periscope?
Social media’s new darlings, Meerkat and Periscope, are livestreaming video apps that are linked to a user’s Twitter account. Their streams are broadcasted to followers from around the world and allow viewers to comment on the video in real time.
Meerkat vs. Periscope
There are a few differences between the two apps: Periscope saves your broadcasts for 24 hours, Meerkat doesn’t. Periscope is owned by Twitter itself and currently has more users, but Meerkat is in close second. It seems the online world is still testing both out before coming to a conclusion about the ultimate winner.
What’s the hype?
Meerkat wants to promote “spontaneous togetherness,” while Periscope claims it’s the closest thing to teleportation. Both share the glory of bringing real time marketing to a completely new level. There’s no more lag time between typing a tweet or posting a Vine. What you see is what’s happening right this second. It breaks down the walls of technology and connects real people, doing real things, in real time.
Who’s it good for?
Only time will tell if Meerkat and Periscope will still be prevalent a few months from now, let alone a few years. But the traction they’ve gained so far has surpassed many other social media apps and platforms that disappeared after their first week online (Ello? Are you still out there?) If your brand frequently has questions from customers, give Meerkat and Periscope a whirl and broadcast a video as a new way to answer them. With both platforms still in their infancy, jumping on the bandwagon early gives you the chance to be seen by more people, because you’ll be competing with fewer live streams.
I wouldn’t have found out about Rent-A-Mutt if I didn’t sign up for Meerkat. Who knows which invaluable customers you could gain by showing a live stream of your cookie baking, cocktail creations, or shrub solutions?