If the last few weeks in tech could be reduced to one word, Meerkat would be a strong contender. On the spot, untethered streaming was the stuff of very dedicated tech geeks until now. Meanwhile, Twitter’s held back its livstreaming app, Periscope, which it acquired earlier this year.
That is, until today. Early this morning Periscope hit the iOS App Store. Its available now for iPhones and iPads, with plans for a later Android release (streams and archives — more on this feature later — are also available through its website).
So is Periscope the same ‘kat in a different color? Not exactly. Periscope includes the option to replay past streams, which reduces the immediacy of watching something you’ve just been notified about right now. Users can also tap a heart on the bottom of the feed, but what sets this off from a “like” or a “favorite” is that hearts can be tapped repeatedly. It’s an interesting way to gauge real-time engagement.
In addition, Periscope is a part of Twitter, and it cut Meerkat off from its social graph, which makes it harder for users to notify other that they’re streaming. While Twitter said cutting Meerkat off was “consistent” with their policies, they also have 100 million reasons, er, $100 million tied up in the purchase of Periscope.
But Meerkat isn’t going anywhere soon. It just announced $14 million of venture capital funding and is growing at 30 percent a day — and like Pericope, Meerkat is, for now, iDevice only.
However, as Yoda would say while webcasting his daily commute to the Jedi Temple, “Begun, the livestreaming wars have.”