The app that started the personal livestreaming revolution ultimately found that competing against the likes Facebook and Twitter’s Periscope – both of which launched months after Meerkat – was more than it could realistically handle in the long term:
“It was a fucking hard decision to say ‘it’s not going to work, thank you everyone for the support. One-to-many [broadcasting] is not more than a feature on top of a platform, and if we want to be independent we have to change the course.”
Personal livestreaming didn’t quite catch up with the mainstream the way Meerkat had hoped. The app only ever hit #140 in the App Annie’s app store rankings, and the highest number of streams in a month was around 100,000 people in May of last year.
Furthermore, the company realized it was building a broadcasting platform that didn’t actually do much to help connect its users, so around October, it began to pivot towards creating a video social network. While it’s not ending livestreaming, it’s clearly no longer the company’s focus.
That said, Rubin isn’t really specifying much about what’s next. Recode describes it as “akin to Google Hangouts or Skype, with a priority on smaller, group video chats with people you know versus strangers tuning in.”
It sounds like an odd decision at first glance, as video chat is an even more crowded space than livestreaming. Still, we assume Meerkat will have something new up its sleeve if it wants to stick around for the years to come.
We’ll see for ourselves when the product shows up in the “next three months or so,” according to Rubin. For the full reasoning behind the decision, check out Recode’s write-up at the source link below.