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Meerkat vs. Periscope: A Review and Comparison

By now, you’ve heard all the chatter about Meerkat and Periscope, the two live streaming video apps that have caught the attention of social media users around the globe.

While live streaming isn’t anything new (remember that Twitch and Ustream have been around for a while), the tipping point for social media live streaming has apparently been reached.

Meerkat started 2015 off with a big bang by being the buzz at SXSW, but then Twitter removed Meerkat’s ability to import social connections from its platform. This may have put a dent in Meerkat’s future and may have given Periscope the lead, but you never know.

What are the key features of each platform?

Check out the chart below, which was created by our friends at Brunner Advertising. It highlights the key differences between the two platforms and will give you a sense of the features provided by each one.

(Please note that Meerkat and Periscope are now available on Android — this chart was created before they were available on that platform.)

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 8.41.13 PM

ADWEEK had another interesting side-by-side comparison showing the respective audiences of each platform. Check it out:


And, of course, you’ll also be interested in the geographic spread of the platforms across the United States.


Taking a deeper dive.

Omar Gallaga, a digital tech expert, wrote a nice piece summarizing his take on the platforms. Here are some excerpts from his article:

  • One of the ways that Periscope (and to an even greater extent Meerkat) feels different from previous live-video apps is a sense of the ephemeral. Meerkat doesn’t archive streams at all; once you miss someone’s video, it’s gone. Periscope gives broadcasters the option to make replays available, but only for 24 hours. You can find a list of videos a user has created, but you can’t watch them after that unless the Periscoper saves the video and re-posts it somewhere else.
  • Let’s talk about those hearts and chat messages. Hearts are a way for Periscope viewers to say they like something. But unlike Facebook, where you can “Like” something once, hearts can be freely given many, many times by tap-tap-tapping the phone screen while watching.
  • Popular formats on Periscope: “Ask me anything” chats with tech reporters, children and even sock puppets. Board Dog walks or strolls through airports. Bad weather and spectacular sunsets. And, most promisingly, breaking news events such as riots in Baltimore and disaster coverage after horrific storms.

The bottom line.

Based on the data outlined above and the media buzz the respective platforms are getting, it looks as though video live streaming has finally caught on. It’s too early to tell where this will all go — will Meerkat and Periscope be the next QR code technology that never gained wide adoption? Or will it be the next Twitter?

What are your thoughts? Oh, and while you’re at it, be sure to follow me on Periscope at AskJamieTurner.

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an Atlanta-based marketing agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe. Subscribe to The Jamie Turner Show podcast by visiting iTunes or Stitcher.

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  • R. Brian Phillips

    I thought I’d add one more advantage Periscope has over Meerkat. I’m on the board of BMA Colorado (a chapter of the Business Marketing Association), and we were looking for ways to deliver registration-based, live content to people who couldn’t attend an event. Live streaming was an obvious option. But, we didn’t want to diminish the value of the event for people who paid a registration fee and attended. Periscope may offer the right solution. It has a private stream option, so you can select specific followers in the app (in our case, followers who pay a reduced registration fee), and only those people are notified and
    able to view the stream. We haven’t pulled the trigger on this, yet, but are exploring the pros and cons of Meerkat and Periscope. In the end, because of the private streaming option, I think we’ll land on Periscope.

    • Ahhhhh, great input, Brian. I didn’t know about that feature on Periscope. Glad you shared it with us!

      Hey, while I have your attention, I’ve always been a big fan of your marketing training and expertise. We recently re-skinned the site with a new theme and I’d love your feedback. You can email me directly, but the more honest you are with any constructive criticism, the better for us, so fire away!

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