Social Media Live Broadcasting Apps Explained
Meerkat and Periscope are two mobile apps that came out this spring, and the two are growing in popularity amongst millennials as well as in the workplace. Meerkat and Periscope are live broadcasting apps, meaning that the user can share his or her personal experience with others in real time. There is no time limit on the videos, as there is in Vine or Snapchat, and there is no phone memory limitation because the videos disappear unless the user chooses to save it to their phone’s camera roll. This is not just a one-way street though; viewers can interact with the person streaming the video by commenting and asking questions, which the user can then respond to in real time.
This ability to be transparent is one of the things that make live broadcasting so applicable for business. For example, suppose you are preparing for the launch of a new product. One way to build up anticipation would be to stream the behind-the-scenes work done in the days leading up to the launch. This will get customers excited as well as give them an opportunity to ask questions about what is being done. Naturally, you do not want to spill too many details about the product for fear of losing its “wow factor,” but being allowing consumers the chance to see the final stages of preparation and ask questions creates a personal tie to the product for the consumers, making them that much more excited for the impending release. Also, both platforms can be integrated with Twitter, which means your company already access to a built-in audience for real-time engagement.
Although both Meerkat and Periscope are integrated with Twitter, there are some distinguishing features regarding how they act through the Twitter platform. First, all Meerkat posts are immediately posted to your Twitter feed once the live stream begins, so it will show up on all of your followers’ timelines. Contrarily, with Periscope only your Periscope followers will see your broadcast while on the platform unless you choose to post a link to your stream on Twitter (which most people do). Another difference between the two apps, is that Meerkat gives users the ability to schedule broadcasts ahead of time so that their followers know when to tune in, whereas there is no scheduling feature in Periscope.
Other than the ways in which the platforms are connected with Twitter, there are a few other differences that separate the two, the first of which would be the amount of time a viewer has to watch the live stream. All Meerkat posts are live and disappear once the broadcast is over, so viewers can only watch while the video is actually being taken. However, Periscope allows users to replay a stream for up to 24 hours before it is erased. Also, Periscope gives people the option to set up a private stream, where the user streaming the video can choose a select group of people to watch the video and interact with, while Meerkat does not This particular feature allows Periscope users to network on a more personal level with a certain group of followers, for example a certain niche group of customers. Furthermore, with the Hearts feature, Periscope streamers can see who is liking their posts and even allows users to track data about their broadcast, such as the number of views, likes, comments, etc. Meerkat does not currently have a “Like” but users can achieve a profile ranking for the amount of time they spend on the app and the amount of followers/views their streams draw in.
To conclude, Meerkat and Periscope are two apps on the rise that allow people to show their world to others while viewers are provided the opportunity to interact with the person taking the video in real time. While the two apps are appear quite similar on the surface, they each have some key differences that make them more or less practical for certain purposes. Since Meerkat streams automatically post to Twitter, all of the users’ followers will have the ability to see their broadcast and be able to further share it across their own networks at the time of the live stream. Also, when using Meerkat, users are not only able to see their followers’ streams but also any popular broadcasts that are trending at the time. This makes Meerkat more adaptable to users who would like to reach a bigger audience. On the other hand, Periscope enables its users to hold private broadcasts and even when the Private option is not selected, only the user’s followers can see his or her stream. Therefore, Periscope can be used to create more of a close-knit relationship with customers. No matter which option you decide to go with, getting involved in social media live broadcasting is a great way to bring attention to specific company events – conferences, service days, product launches – as well as daily corporate activities. It is also a fantastic way of connecting with the younger, influential target audience, which is an incredibly important market in today’s business realm.