Amazon’s landmark acquisition of Twitch arguably signalled the arrival of live streaming video. With infrastructure and technology finally up to speed, streaming live video from a mobile device is poised to become the next big thing in social networking and an app called Meerkat is leading the way.
For those unfamiliar, Meerkat is a new livestreaming service created by Life on Air. It debited on February 27 as a way to livestream video directly to – and only on – Twitter using a mobile device. Much like Snapchat, content streamed using Meerkat disappears once the stream ends meaning there’s no “replay” functionality.
Before livestreaming, there was a similar movement called lifecasting. The two are very similar in concept – a person streams live video of what’s happening in their life over the Internet to a curious audience.
Justin.tv was considered the first lifecasting platform. Initially launched as a way for one of its creators to livestream his life 24/7, the platform eventually shifted to allow others to broadcast their own user-generated content. The concept worked with stationary feeds but back in 2007, the technology to effectively stream on the go wasn’t up to snuff. The service shut down last August so its creators could focus on the site’s spinoff, Twitch.
Here we sit seven years later where the mobile landscape has changed drastically.
Meerkat has amassed quite a following in the few weeks it has been live, capturing plenty of tech headlines in the process. But how exactly the service will end up being used and who will take advantage of it is still wide open.