What Is This Meerkat App And How Can You Use It For Business?

Meerkat-Blog-Pic-_-flat
The newest video streaming app, Meerkat, is here and it is catching on like wild-fire. Meerkat solves many of the problems of previous attempts at video streaming apps or platforms of the past (**Cough** Google Plus **Cough** What?). Meerkat ingeniously piggy-backs on top of Twitter giving the app an already attentive user-base and giving it a great advantage. Once the Meerkat app is downloaded, users can stream instantly with one simple touch (which really ties in well with the Twitter-Vine-Simpler-Is-Better mentality). Like with sharing a Vine to Twitter, Meerkat tweets on the user’s behalf, letting their Twitter audience know they are streaming.

Meerkat Integrates With Twitter And It’s Awesome

Like it says in the app’s Rules Of Meerkat, “Everything that happens on Meerkat happens on Twitter”. This is one of the best things about the app and allows users to hit the ground running. By leveraging the existing Twitter fan base, users don’t have to spend a bunch of time building an audience that they have already cultivated. They simply log in and start streaming. The app tweets for them and lets everyone know that they are “LIVE NOW.”

Tweeps can click on the link in the tweet which will take them to the live stream. Additionally, anyone who is watching the stream in the app can comment on the live-stream video itself. When they comment, the app sends out a tweet from their Twitter account and @ mentions the person streaming the video.

Meerkat Example 2

Currently, there is no way for the person creating the stream to send out a tweet through the app other than using the comment feature (which will @ mention the streamer as if they were tweeting to themselves). However, the interactivity should greatly improve as the folks at Meerkat get some initial feedback and make some needed changes.

Meerkat Is Crazy Easy To Use

While Meerkat is in it’s infancy, it does have a few key features that make it a must for any business.

The theme of simplicity is consistent throughout the user experience. In terms of the user wanting to stream a video, the app really only has two functions, “Stream” and “Schedule.” By far and away it’s greatest accomplishment is that it’s incredibly easy to use. The fact that you can be up and running with a live stream in a matter of seconds, simply by pressing the “Stream” button, is a huge benefit.

Meerkat-Stream-Vs-Schedule

The app also gives you the ability to schedule out a live stream event. By adding some text and pressing the “Schedule” button, the user can let their followers know that a stream will be happening at a given time. Select a time and a photo and Meerkat will list the upcoming stream in the main window of the app. Only a person’s followers will see this and right now there is no way to “discover” new people to follow (other than through Twitter and/or the leader board, which is covered later in this post).

Schedule-A-Meerkat-Stream

An added bonus to the app is that once the stream has ended, users can download the video to the phone.

Meerkat Has A Lot Of Potential

Let’s get down to brass tacks. While all of the above is great, all of the Meerkat convenience and functionality in the world doesn’t mean a thing if businesses don’t know what to do with it. The goal of Meerkat for business needs to be a two pronged approach; show the product or service and engage with an audience in real-time.

With that said, we wanted to give a few examples of what others are doing to help would-be-users get the ball rolling.

As a first example, we live streamed a simple photography walkabout (or photo walk) using Meerkat. The key goal was to SHOW something in action and try to generate user feedback and engagement, rather than just talking into the camera with nothing to visually represent the content.

For another example of how to use Meerkat, a user could stream an event (like the video below showing a guided tour of SXSW). In this example David Armano (@armano) walks the audience through the 3M booth (experience?) at South By Southwest 2015. He talks with various people, showcases some product demonstrations, and gives the viewer a real sense of what’s going on. This is a perfect example of how a business or brand could use Meerkat to let their audience know what they are up to.

While videos can’t be uploaded to Meerkat, they can be saved after the stream has ended and uploaded to other sites like YouTube or Vimeo. This offers wonderful potential for bloggers and vloggers who want to stream an event or show and then use the content in a later blog post.

Imagination is the key to business success with this app. Since it integrates with Twitter, businesses could use it to supplement or replace their tweet-ups and tweet storms. It could also be used for product demonstrations, behind-the-scenes or business tours. Beauty related businesses like salons and barber shops could easily show special services and give their clients an idea of what the process is like firsthand. Even plumbers, electricians and contractors could show simple Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home improvement projects. The best part about all of this is that it’s “LIVE NOW.” This gives businesses the perfect opportunity to interact with their customers and prospects on the fly.

The Future Is Unwritten

While it’s safe to say that the Meerkat app has gained some real momentum out of the gate, only time will tell if it sticks like Vine or bombs like Google Hangouts. However, if Meerkat takes off and stands the test of time, businesses will want to jump on the opportunity to establish themselves as expert Meerkaters now and capitalize on all the hype.

 

Ready. Set. Stream! Check back as we update this post with more ways to utilize Meerkat for business.

Have ideas to share? We would love to hear…

 

  2 comments for “What Is This Meerkat App And How Can You Use It For Business?

  1. March 23, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Meerkat is what we need, have been waiting for and wanting for ever… Yay, hooray and bless this day!

    • Nick Southcote
      March 24, 2015 at 9:22 am

      We couldn’t agree more. Thanks for reading!

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