Why Meerkat, the breakout app of SXSW, is more than a flash in the pan

March 20, 2015 7:53 PM

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Why Meerkat, the breakout app of SXSW, is more than a flash in the pan

AUSTIN—Meerkat is either the most annoying or groundbreaking app to strike it big at the South by Southwest Interactive festival. Live-streaming video, particularly on Twitter, has incredible potential: Meerkat has already been used to show the world a demonstration from Ferguson and a U.S. Secretary of Commerce swearing-in ceremony. But most of the 3-week-old iOS app’s 100,000-plus users are live-streaming complete garbage, like endless shaky clips of other people using Meerkat.

Early adopters, journalists, and brands love Meerkat because it’s a new platform to experiment with, but that doesn’t mean much in terms of longterm mainstream success. There’s a virtual graveyard full of apps that caught on at SXSW and promptly flamed out in the real world. But Meerkat has two adva...

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