Despite receiving high praise during its SXSW 2015 debut, live-streaming app Meerkat is ditching its live broadcast feature and moving to a video social network, where “everybody is always live”.
Meerkat’s CEO Ben Rubin explained the decision in a blog post on the company’s website, including an email which was sent to investors. In the investor email Rubin argued that Twitter’s live-streaming app Periscope and Facebook’s live-streaming feature Facebook Live “drew more early users to them away from us and we were not able to grow as quickly alongside as we had planned.
“Live video has become an interesting feature on top of Twitter and Facebook, but it hasn’t yet developed into a self-sustaining new network as we hoped we would do with Meerkat.”
Rubin argued that people who are not celebrities/media/news don’t see a value proposition in being live (just yet): “For most regular people — it has been hard to figure out when or even why to go live.
“Given all of this, one-to-many mobile live video is still in a state of infancy and a lot of its success depends on these media, stars, or influencers. Their main currency is audience and viewership. As long as we are competing on those with Twitter/Periscope and Facebook Live, we don’t think the current Meerkat product is set up to win.”
Rubin has expanded on the email in a blog post, saying: “We love the content you create and the community that you’ve built. Meerkat isn’t going anywhere, but we are thinking about cool new ways that live video might become a part of everyone’s daily lives.
“We wanted to share with you the full memo that was referenced in the news because we believe it shows what we’re about and how this decision was made.