Before using the app Meerkat, I decided it would be best to read what others have written about it.
“It is the app and social activity of the moment,” described Lance Ulanoff of Mashable.
This was the first article that came up on google when I searched Meerkat. I was confused by the first graph because I realized the article was also talking about Twitter’s Periscope? Periscope is Twitter’s answer to Meerkat. It is also a live streaming app. Can you see where I was confused?
My confusion didn’t stop there.
But before trying Meerkat, I also watched a video of an interview with Ben Rubin, founder of Meerkat. Laurie Segall of CNNMoney was “Meerkating” the interview. When asked why Meerkat, Rubin responded, “It’s one of the most social animals in the world.”
After watching Segall “Meerkating,” I decided it was time to try it out. I opened the app and was easily able to sign in with my Twitter username and password.
The first live stream I clicked on was of Erik B. (@truemarmalde), Erik was listening to music and working on some cat artwork. The first thing I noticed was that within the stream you can see how many people are watching. If you click on the people it includes their Twitter handles, pretty cool stuff.
Then I decided to play with some of the buttons at the bottom. Here is where it got confusing and messy. There are four buttons at the bottom. To the far left, there is a chat button where you can contribute to the stream. Erik, the streamer, can see comments and answer to you through the camera.
To the right, there is a retweet, favorite and home button. But of course I forgot I signed onto Meerkat with my Twitter. The first button I pressed was the retweet button. So, I thought ok where does this retweet go? Is there a section on my homepage where I see retweets? (thinking of my Vine days) But no, thats not how it worked. The retweet was on my Twitter account. Same goes for a favorite.
To keep this blog completely honest, the next thing I checked out was what I consider the chat button (bottom far left). I wanted to become part of the conversation on the live stream and decided I would ask if someone could explain Meerkat.
So, I asked Erik B. if he could explain Meerkat. When he didn’t answer (because he was busy with his artwork) I decided to leave the same comment on different live streams until someone answered.
What I didn’t notice, until someone favorited my Tweet, was that all comments left on a live stream are sent out as tweets. Can we talk about being embarrassed?
Eventually, Cody Stevenson (@thecodyvision) came to the rescue and gave me a little more inside knowledge on Meerkat. To continue with the honesty, I was thrilled when Stevenson answered. Finally, someone interacted with me.
Oh, and I also tried live streaming myself. Let’s just say I didn’t have any viewers.
Overall I enjoyed Meerkat. I found it messy and confusing at first but it was definitely a fun experience. I would say my experience on Meerkat was no different then my first time on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. It’s all about adapting and exploring.