Meerkat and Periscope Logos

By this point, we assume you would have heard about the fierce competition between two new apps on the social media scene: Periscope and Meerkat.

At first glance, these iPhone apps will look incredibly similar.

Both are only available on iOS, they connect to Twitter, and they allow users to take video on their phones and live-stream the footage to their Twitter followers (who follow the link provided by the app).

In truth, there are some major differences between Periscope and Meerkat that have left these two in a tight race for users. But before we talk about those differences, let’s dive into why these apps could be important for your business in the first place…

If you have a small business or agency, this technology can give you a new marketing outlet through to connect with your audience.

You have taken the time to procure a flock of Twitter followers, and continually work to bring them original and visual content. And with the newest Twitter updates, you have found yourself working even harder to bring your followers content that they can actively engage with – like the new native video feature.

But let’s be honest, producing or curating powerful and engaging videos is not usually within the small brand’s budget.

So how can you boost your Twitter game AND stay under budget?

This is where Periscope and Meerkat can bridge the gap.

As live-streaming video apps, these companies provide a more spontaneous marketing medium to share videos that are in-the-moment and give your brand personality. For example, if you took the time to live stream a portion of an event at which you spoke locally, or streamed a team workshop where you were sharpening your company’s own skill set, you would show expertise in your industry and provide engaging content to your followers!

So which app should you invest time in downloading and learning? Here are the key differences between the two apps:

Launch Date

  • Meerkat launched February 27, 2015 and gained a $14 million round of funding on March 26, 2015.
  • Twitter launched a rival app named Periscope on March 26, 2015.

Tweets Tweeted

  • Both apps send a tweet through your Twitter account providing people a link to your live-broadcasted video
    • Meerkat will also send a tweet as a reply to the original tweeted link on Twitter when viewers comment on your broadcast.
    • Periscope will not send any subsequent tweets in response to the original tweeted link in an effort to cut down on the noise produced by their app.

User Discovery

  • Twitter blocked integration with Meerkat to prevent Meerkat users from discovering which of their Twitter followers were also on Meerkat
  • Periscope has a “People” tab to allow you to find your Twitter followers who are also using Periscope to connect and engage.

Leaderboards

  • Meerkat displays a “Leaderboard” with a ranking of the most-followed users. This is an attempt to combat the blocked integration from Twitter for discovering new users, so that Meerkat users can discover who to follow within the app.
  • Periscope displays a “Most-Loved” users tab with a showcase of which users get the most engagement for their video streams.

On-Demand Video Streams

  • Meerkat allows you to view video streams ONLY as they are occurring.
  • Periscope saves live streams so that viewers can watch them later. This feature can also be turned off in user settings.

Meerkat and Periscope Discovery Pictures
Image Source: Recode

Deciding which app to download and proactively use is up to you. Despite the inherit advantages Periscope has as a result of being backed by Twitter, the race between the two apps is closer than it seems.

Personally, we find the fact you can save live broadcasts to view later in Periscope most appealing; but we recommend if you’re interested in experimenting with this type of marketing to test out both apps.

Chances are that in the next month we will see a clear winner and if you have had experience using each one, you will be ahead of the game when it matters most.

Have you already worked with either of these apps? What was your engagement experience? Do you recommend it to other small businesses or agencies? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Twitter.

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