Meerkat takes the fight to Twitter with its developer platform
When an established social player such as Twitter or Facebook launches similar functionality to your startup, it's a sad fact that you will likely drift into obscurity. Meerkat, a new live streaming app, is continuing to fight Twitter's similar 'Periscope' service to its very last breath through hoping to attract developers with a new platform...
Developers can have the peace-of-mind the Meerkat experiences they help build will not end up going to waste
Meerkat has no love for Twitter, who their service used to rely on. Twitter launched its own competitor, Periscope, and the social network swiftly cut-off Meerkat’s access with just two hours of notice. Twitter is often criticised for the way it treats developers - such as the token limit it now imposes - and the team behind Meerkat saw this as an opportunity to treat them with the respect they deserve.
During the nine weeks that Meerkat has been available, 37 developers have used their private API to create supplementary experiences for things such as; stream discovery, automatic uploads of streams to YouTube, and audience analytics tools.
Now the startup is creating an official presence for developers through the launch of a dedicated platform and set of APIs which it promises to not ever remove - unlike Twitter - so that developers can have the peace-of-mind the Meerkat experiences they help build will not end up going to waste or shutdown if an official competitor is launched.
Twitter arguably grew at such a rapid pace thanks to the support of developers and the tools and services they helped to create around it. Meerkat is a medium in its infancy, and no-one is entirely sure what a good stream is. It could be that there will never be such a definition, but developers can help to ensure that it takes-off and that streams are more engaging than people eating their breakfast.
Meerkat, a new live streaming app, is continuing to fight Twitter's similar 'Periscope' service to its very last breath
In order to do this, developers will need access to Meerkat. Luckily, they've provided a handy API which can pull arrays of all current or scheduled streams, as well as pull details, comments, watchers, and more. For now, you are unable to create a new stream from outside the official Meerkat app as the creators want to explore the option more before committing to it full-time.
Periscope is currently winning the war of users - which reflects in its position within the top 10 of US social apps - but if Meerkat wins the hearts of developers then it still has hope of creating a modern day "David versus Goliath" story. Although with Periscope hitting one million users in ten days, compared to Meerkat's two million in nine weeks, it will be an uphill battle.
Get started with Meerkat's API here.
Do you think Meerkat's developer-friendly approach will help against Periscope? Let us know in the comments.
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