Meerkat, Periscope, and the Future of Mobile Video

Apr 2015

Meerkat, Periscope, and the Future of Mobile VideoIf you’ve been following the latest scoop in content marketing universe over the past few weeks, chances are the names “Meerkat” and “Periscope” have crossed your radar at least a couple of times.

Introduced at South by Southwest (SXSW) back in mid-March, Meerkat kicked off a worldwide conversation about the rise of live mobile video. It certainly wasn’t the first app of its kind on the scene (Ustream has been offering a streaming video app since 2009), but it was the first to boast an automatic social media function — as soon as you started broadcasting, the app would automatically tweet a link out to your Twitter followers.


Not to be outdone, Twitter got in on the game by buying Periscope, which launched a couple of weeks ago. Unlike Meerkat, Periscope allows the broadcaster to replay the footage after the ‘cast has ended.


The Rise of Live

Believe me, I can hear the face-palming from here. “I just got the hang of YouTube,” the beleaguered content marketer wails, “and now I have to start broadcasting live?”


Welcome to the latest irony to hit the field of online and offline interaction: Now that on-demand has become de rigeur, we crave live experiences all the more, particularly those experiences that allow us to hold a conversation in real time.

Witness the rise of live-tweeting around popular TV shows. Networks arrange for cast members to be on Twitter to interact with the audience even as the action is taking place on their screens.

And the last time you went to a conference or other in-person event, did one of the screens feature a real-time Twitter feed to capture the “conversation about the conversation?”

So in a way, it’s only natural that live is the next big thing when it comes to video. Whatever the reason, it’s here to stay … now, how do we use it?

How Live Video Works

With live streaming video, you can have your own online channel that’s dedicated to broadcasting your live streams. Your channel is always there, regardless of how much or how little you choose to broadcast.

When you’re not streaming, visitors to the channel will see some kind of placeholder. As soon as you tap the “broadcast” button, your audio and video will go out to all who have your channel pulled up on their devices.

How to Use Live Video

First of all, relax — good old on-demand video isn’t going anywhere. Those video assets of yours on YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, and other sites are as valuable as they ever were.

That said, there are certain opportunities that are made for sharing in a live setting:

1. Big Announcements

Live video lets you call host your own press conferences without leaving your office. Invite your contacts just as you would for an in-person announcement and give them the link to your channel, plus the date and time of your broadcast.

2. Live Events

Any time you host a live event — from an intimate workshop to a full conference — you can stream the proceedings live from your channel, offering a glimpse to those who were unable to attend. (Some of the larger conference organizers offer an “online ticket” and charge for the privilege of attending via your live channel.)

3. Q&A and Live Conversations

If one of your subject matter experts (SMEs) is hosting a live “ask the expert” event on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, live video adds a more personal component to the conversation. Just make sure you also have a moderator to feed incoming questions to the SME and keep the conversation lively.

4. Free Access to Paid Content

One of the most creative uses of live video comes from the online classes provider CreateLive. You can access just about any class live for free via live video streaming, or you can attend on-demand for a fee.

So if you’re planning a paid content asset, a live broadcast allows you to launch it with a splash and test it with a live audience before putting it out there as a product.


Meerkat, Periscope, and the Future of Mobile VideoWant to learn more about using video content to attract and retain business? Join us on April 22 for our next VIP Webinar, Action! Boost Your Brand with Video Content — grab your spot today!



  1. Rachel: Have you tested Bambuser live video service? I have downloaded Meerkat and Periscope on my smartphone, but I haven’t tested them yet. I wonder if I can incorporate these services into my podcasting schedule and content creation.

    • Rachel Parker says:

      Hi, Martin! I had not heard of Bambuser — have you used them? You might think about doing a “live” version of your podcast — create it as a live streaming video, then save the audio and upload it as a podcast episode. Let me know how it goes!

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