Publishers test the waters with Meerkat
The BBC, for example, has already used the live-streaming app to broadcast its recent coverage in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shootings of two police officers earlier this month. It was also able to use the app to get feedback from viewers, who suggested how they wanted the coverage to take shape. BBC reporters say that their use of Meerkat on mobile phones made it easier for them to get closer to the action when they were in Ferguson with professional equipment.
“Meerkat was one of those names that was just in the news,” said BBC video journalist Franz Strasser. “We’re still not entirely convinced this is the best option, but we’re willing in trying out all these different platforms.” He said that over 400 people watched the stream over its three-hour broadcast.
Livestreaming, of course, is nothing new. Companies such as Livestream and Ustream have successfully captured the attention of professional broadcasters for years. But Meerkat, which designed to work exclusively with Twitter, has taken off because its simple interface makes it almost effortless for anyone to start broadcasting. Users say it also owes its popularity to the evanescence of its recordings. Once a user records a stream, it’s impossible for other Meerkat users to watch it afterwards.