When news broke yesterday that Twitter was limiting hot live-streaming app Meerkat‘s access to its social graph, mere hours after confirming it had acquired yet-to-launch rival Periscope, there was a near-audible gasp across the media and tech community that has taken Meerkat to its hearts this month.
So what does Meerkat do next? I met up with CEO Ben Rubin at SXSW to find out.
Some key takeaways:
- While Twitter has cut automatic follows for people’s Twitter user graph, Meerkat is looking at other pathways to grow, including Facebook Messenger and users’ address books – a move that will expand the diversity of the user graph.
- Meerkat isn’t counting on Twitter giving back full access to its graph, and Rubin understands that Twitter needs to make decisions that are in the interest of its own business.
- Meerkat plans to grow beyond its current core userbase of “more than 100,000” users by encouraging mainstream users to stream live when they see something exciting. Not everyone needs to stream every day, but everyone sees things that excites them and they want to share with the world.
From chatting with Meerkat’s team today, it’s clear that they genuinely aren’t phased by Twitter’s move (I know every startup says that after a knock back, but I really believe them in this case), and they’re focused on making sure they come out of SXSW with enough momentum to keep growing in the coming months.
You can listen to the full interview below.