Review: Periscope vs Meerkat – The Battle for Live Streaming

In a world of smart devices, the applications you use define your experience. Users are constantly on the lookout for the best app to share their reality with. In previous years, the battle has been between Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. However, the recent debate has become a Facebook-vs-MySpace style duel between live-streaming apps, Periscope and Meerkat. The consensus seems to be that Periscope is better than Meerkat.

Periscope Offers Quality and Quantity

Periscope could be the obvious choice as the superior app simply because it offers more features and better quality. Qualitywise, Meerkat does not come out on top. The delay of up to half a minute is a con on many users’ lists. It does not support the culture of ” instant” communications if it doesn’t allow communication right away.

In comparison, Periscope is instant, it is a faster way to connect. The app also has tight integration with Twitter. Periscope seems to be superior in both quality and quantity.

Friend Following

While Meerkat lets you follow those who already own the app, Periscope has a different concept of adding followers to your list. Periscope lets you subscribe to your friends in advance. When you sign up for the app, you are given the option to sign up for the subscriptions of your Twitter friends. If you have a friend who doesn’t have a stream, you can pre-follow them so, when they do sign up and use the app, you will be following them already. This helps develop a network faster than you can on other social media sites.

Cool Features

When downloading a live-stream app, you may ask yourself what features are included. In Meerkat, you can stream live video, tweet a link to your video, and even create a live conversation using the comment section. Periscope also allows you to record via live streaming, as well as browse recent videos, send messages, give hearts when you like a feed, and follow users in order to get notifications on your phone.

Meerkat can be frustrating because tweets with links lead to a closed-down feed, since the video is not saved when you stream. The moment you decide to stop streaming, the link is no longer valid. Periscope, however, saves your recording, allowing you and your subscribers to watch it for up to 24 hours.

Meerkat doesn’t give any feedback about who is watching or how many times it has been viewed. Periscope gives you statistics that include retention, time watched, duration, viewers, and more. Periscope can be compared to websites like YouTube, which keep a count of viewers, but it is different in the sense that the videos only last for a maximum of 24 hours.

In a nutshell…

Based on the comparisons made, Periscope is currently the front-runner. The consumer experience is one with more variety, more features, and the feeling of instant communication. Will Meerkat introduce new features to attract some of the consumers back to its app? Only time will tell. For now, Periscope clearly has much more to offer.

Omar Kattan
About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.
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