According to the International Business Times editor, though Meerkat has gotten a head start as it has been in the market longer than Periscope which Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) just released this week, Meerkat will be facing quite the headwind as it battles against another app that is backed by a fairly substantial social network user base.
“Back in February when Meerkat launched, a lot of people said ‘This is the app Twitter should have built.’ It turns out they were building this app and they introduced it yesterday. It is a huge headwind for Meerkat. The biggest difference is that the Periscope live stream, you can actually watch within Twitter [and] I think that’s a big advantage over Meerkat where you have to link out to watch the stream,” Learmonth told Dominic Chu.
When asked by Chu whether Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) having an established community that’s better accessed by Periscope is going to be an advantage over Meerkat, the editor agreed. He said Periscope has access to all 260 million Twitter users and that this is a giant user base straight out of the gates.
However, Learmonth points out that Meerkat also has a card up its sleeve.
“Meerkat, by the way, raised $14 million from a bunch of big Hollywood names like William Morris and CAA [Creative Artists Agency] and Universal Music Group, so you can imagine a lot of celebrities are going to go for Meerkat. I think this is going to play out kind of the way Vine did and the way Instagram did and you are going to see celebrities emerge that are just very good live streamers,” he said.
Learmonth said that for now, there is no clear winner between Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s Periscope and Meerkat. This is a case of everything old is new again. Before Meerkat and Periscope, in fact even before YouTube, there was a life streaming fad, he said. This is just a way to get people to view a live stream, he added, which has been a challenge and a party trick. However, we now have the technology and infrastructure to enable live streaming to become mainstream via aggregating people quickly to a live stream, he said.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shareholders includes John Thaler’s Jat Capital Management which owned about 7.26 million shares of the social network by the end of 2014.
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