Meerkat to Step Away from Livestreaming and Move on to a Video Social Network


Meerkat may have effectively kicked off the current livestreaming boom, but it’s looking to switch gears.

Re/code reported Friday that Meerkat plans on moving away from the open, public livestreaming that the company is known for, and instead will focus on other video-centric social networking features.

Although Meerkat continues to attract lots of viewers, CEO Ben Rubin told Re/code, the company is struggling to maintain an active userbase of streamers. The company also cited competition from larger social companies such as Twitter and Facebook as a reason for the switch.

“While live video has become an interesting feature on top of Twitter and Facebook, it hasn’t yet developed into a self-sustaining new network as we hoped we would do with Meerkat,” Rubin wrote in a memo to investors that Meerkat posted to its company blog. “All of these platforms are struggling to create repeat broadcasters at a growing rate and the viewership isn’t much higher today than we thought it was last summer.”

The story behind the story: Meerkat made a splash at last March’s SXSW conference, and for a short time, it was the talk of the tech world. It did not take long for others to hop on the livestreaming bandwagon, though: Later that month, Twitter bought Periscope, then reintroduced it as its own take on livestreaming. And earlier this year, Facebook rolled out its Facebook Live livestreaming feature to the masses, allowing anyone to stream live video to their Facebook friends.

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SOURCE: PC World, Nick Mediati