Article

Megan Madden
Megan Madden 31 July 2015
Categories Social Media

Meerkat v Periscope Review

Unless you've been living under a rock you would have heard the enormous hype surrounding two of social's newest rivals, Meerkat and Periscope.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last two months you will have heard the enormous hype surrounding two of social’s newest rivals, Meerkat and Periscope.


Released within four weeks of each other, Periscope at the SXSW festival and Meerkat 4 weeks before, the apps are both intent on becoming industry leaders for live stream broadcasting, but is there room for both and if not, which will prevail?

 

It seems to me Meerkat and Periscope are similar in purpose and functionality. They enable users to create and share live stream broadcasts which can be seen by their existing followers via Twitter. Originally both apps were using Twitter’s database to receive fan information; however, since Twitter announced its acquisition of Periscope, Meerkat’s database has been disconnected. Worried Periscope? Both apps allow users to comment on the live stream broadcasts, which is a completely new realm of engagement for collaborative work between users and creators.


Focused on seeing the world in real time both have gained a significant following. Although it’s their wildly different features and design that is seeing one app running circles around the other.

 

Design

 

From the get-go Periscope already feels more polished and sharper than Meerkat. Meerkat’s layout seems dated and quite tricky to use on a first attempt. In comparison Periscope’s layout is traditional like other apps, causing less thumb confusion when navigating. Like Twitter, Periscope allows room for a profile picture and short biographical blurb, making it feel more like an extension of your Twitter profile than just an app you’ll only use once.

Functionality


Meerkat’s live streaming functionality is very easy to use. It’s the first thing you see when logging on and simply by clicking one button it will start to live steam. But there are two unnecessary ‘score’ and ‘leader board’ buttons above this; scoring users on a combination of video views, time spent streaming and engagement with followers. An instant dislike for me. Do I really need this sort of judgement when creating my first Meerkat broadcast?

Broadcasting


Broadcasting on each app is quite different. Some may argue Meekat’s options are far more advanced, as it allows users to schedule their broadcasts. For me, this defeats the entire point of a live streaming app. In addition, Meerkat auto-tweets a link to your live stream broadcast, for everyone to see on Twitter, making it very public. Periscope lets you to decide who sees what, giving you the option to make broadcast’s private with particular users and the option not to post it on Twitter. Both apps allow auto-saving options, which is great to relive events. Thumbs up!

Notifications


Then we come to the gaping hole…There is one quite important feature both apps haven’t quite grasped yet and that’s notifications. Users are notified of all live streams taking place or nothing at all. Neither is ideal, but the excitement of watching people doing normal mundane things live on my iPhone, compelled me to check the app every second, even with the notifications off.

My Winner


Having used both apps, heard the hype and witnessed celebrities such as Madonna and Jamie Oliver jump on the live stream-broadcasting wagon, it’s safe to say both apps have the ability to change video marketing and content strategy as we know it. But its Periscope’s design and features I enjoyed using most. Though its notification settings are still weak, the crisp feel and private functionalities have won me over. Its rapidly growing fan base is widening the gap between its competitor, Meerkat.

Periscope has this space for now but it only takes one popular brand with intelligent real-time marketing to give Meerkat a fighting chance.

Make your own mind up at Periscope or Meerkat.

 

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