AUSTIN, TEXAS – Livestreaming app Meerkat may have lost the support of Twitter, but that hardly means that the novel program is ready to throw in the towel. According to a company representative, the app is still growing. Meerkat aims to win over customers with its novel features, and seems unconcerned with Twitter's lost functionality.
We spoke with Ryan Cooley, Meerkat's community manager, at SXSW 2015, who gave me an idea of what the company has accomplished so far and what it plans to do next. For those who haven't heard of it, Meerkat is an app with two very simple options: Broadcast a live stream to your followers right now, or schedule one for later.
The app hit a "speed bump," Cooley said, when Twitter abridged some of its features a few days ago. Previously, Meerkat users could simply install the app and bring their entire Twitter followings with them; now, they will have to rebuild their audiences from scratch. (You can still use Twitter to link to your livestreams and correspond with hosts as they broadcast.)
Twitter now favors Periscope, a rival livestreaming app that's not quite as simple, but sports more features. "I have no thoughts on Periscope," Cooley said, hoping to focus on building up Meerkat instead.
Cooley explained that Twitter pulling its features came as a bit of a shock, since the app was designed to complement the social media platform. However, the app still functions just fine, and users who linked it with Twitter beforehand will still have their followings in place. Furthermore, the app's user base has actually grown by 30 percent following the hiccup.
Interested users can check out Meerkat on iOS right now, while an Android version is still in its early stages. Whether users will ultimately go for Meerkat or Periscope remains to be seen.
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