Live streaming technology isn’t new, but in the last few months we’ve been introduced to two new players in the live streaming market. Meerkat and Periscope both allow users to share live-streamed video, and both received a ton of hype when they launched. Combined, these apps have seen more than 580,000 posts, 190,000 users, and 5 billion impressions. Beyond their similarities, these apps have some notable differences; for instance, Meerkat lacks the browsing capability for live streams that Periscope has, and it’s easier to save videos on Periscope.

Despite their different features, both of these apps are great tools to add to your business’s social media arsenal. You can live stream news about your company, such as future event details or product launches. You can also host Q&As, feature product demonstrations, and run flash sales. Take Red Bull, which live streamed a behind-the-scenes view from its half pipe competition, and Adidas, which broadcasted soccer player James Rodriguez signing a contract extension with the sportswear company.

Since both apps are relatively new, it’s not yet clear which network is best for specific types of brands. But we do know brands big and small are giving live streaming a shot. Read on to learn how to use both Periscope and Meerkat and more ways to incorporate them into your marketing strategy.

What Is Meerkat?

  • Meerkat is a live video-streaming app for iOS and Android
  • It allows users to:
    • Share live videos
    • Engage with viewers
    • Discover streams to watch
    • Save streams to your camera roll
  • Meerkat users are called Meerkatters and broadcasting is called Meerkatting
  • Since it’s launch on February 27, 2015 there have been more than:
    • 117,000 posts
    • 26,000 users
    • 361,210,000 impressions *As of June 3
  • Meerkat blew up at SXSW:
    • Views of streams from Austin, TX reached more than 25,000 per day
  • Meerkat secured audience take-up in record time and a $14 million funding round

What is Periscope?

  • Periscope is a live streaming app for iOS and Android 
  • Twitter acquired it in January, 2015
  • It allows users to:
    • Share live videos
    • Engage with viewers
    • Discover streams to watch
    • Save streams to your camera roll
  • Users are called Scopers and broadcasting is called Periscoping
  • On the same day as Meerkat closed on its $14 million in funding, Periscope launched 
  • Since it’s launch on March 26, 2015 there have been more than:
    • 470,600 posts
    • 168,600 users
    • 5,227,153,000 impressions *As of June 3

How to Use Meerkat

  • You must have a Twitter app to use Meerkat
  • When you press “stream,” your live video stream shows up instantly in your follower’s Twitter feeds 
  • You can see the Twitter profile pictures of people who watch a stream along with any likes or comments
    • These comments are tweets, but also live natively in the app
  • You can stream immediately, or schedule a time for later
  • Streams cannot be watched once they’re over
    • But the person who streams the video can save it to their phone afterward
  • Meerkat’s simplicity—for both the streamer and the viewer—has made the app super popular
  • Tweets announcing meerkats use the hashtag #meerkat
  • The app takes video vertically (while most other apps use a horizontal layout)

How to use Periscope

  • Periscope users sign in with Twitter
  • Periscope will import all your Twitter information including profile picture and bio
  • Periscope allows users to broadcast live to followers
    • Once you start a live broadcast, Periscope will instantly notify your followers so they can join, comment, and “heart” in real time
      • Periscope hearts are the way the app measures popularity
      • You can earn them on both live broadcasts and replays
      • You can customize the title, location, privacy, who comments, and whether or not the broadcast also posts to Twitter
    • Unlike Meerkat, where the livestream ends once it ends, Periscope saves broadcasts for 24 hours
      • Periscope users can replay them within that time frame
    • To end a broadcast, swipe down and click on “Stop Broadcasting”
  • You can save your broadcasts to view later
    • Turn on the autosave function in settings:
  • Since Periscope is integrated with Twitter it gives users immediate access to their current Twitter following
    • Which makes it easy to find friends and to increase engagement on your own broadcasts

Meerkat vs. Periscope: The Metrics

The number of videos shared from Meerkat and Periscope on Twitter is relatively close:

  • Yet less than half of Periscope broadcasts are tweeted out
  • Engagement over the same 8-day period, 
    • 59% of Meerkat’s users shared only 1 video
      • 41% shared 2 or more videos
    • 57% of Periscope’s users shared multiple videos
      • Almost 6.5% of Periscope’s users shared 10 or more videos
  • Influence of users:
    • Periscope has many more users with more than 10,000 Twitter followers
    • Between April 1 and April 8, 3,221 Periscope users had more than 10,000 followers
      • Only 970 Meerkat users had more than 10,000 followers
  • Both apps received a ton of hype when they launched and they’ve seen continued engagement. 
  • It’s clear the general public and businesses want to tap into the world of live streaming.  
  • Differences between Meerkat and Periscope:
    • On Periscope, users can pin their location
    • Meerkat lacks browsing capability for live streams 
    • Livestreams are easier to save (and find later) on Periscope
      • Meerkat requires third-party hashtag tricks to revisit a stream after it’s over
    • Periscope allows users to invite only specific users to their stream
      • Meerkat is always public
    • Meerkat cannot plug into Twitter’s social graph anymore (it was blocked soon after Twitter purchased the rights to Periscope)

How to Use Meerkat and Periscope for Your Business

  • Break news about your company, products, services, or future events with video through Meerkat:
    • Customer support
      • Monitor and respond to multiple support requests in real time.
    • Flash sales
      • Offer a special 24-hour price or other limited time offer.
    • Announcements
    • Share company news.
    • Q&As
      • Consider running a daily, weekly, or monthly Q&A to connect with customers itching for interaction.
    • Product demonstrations
      • New product hitting the market? Show your loyal and potential customers how it works and what’s so great about it. 
    • Crowdsourcing
      • Get immediate feedback on questions like, “What’s your take on this product?”
    • Presentations
      • New product or not, share features of your product or services


Grow your social authority, brand awareness, and reach with Meerkat and Periscope’s live stream videos. Post real-time clips of company news, sales, and even customer support on this budding platform. 

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