The latest thing to come out of SXSW is Meerkat, which is a video streaming service that pushes out video in vertical video mode and has a weird web interface. I’m 100% opposed to anything vertical video (I applauded apps like YouTubes for forcing the user to record in horizontal mode instead of vertical).

The thing that makes Meerkat attractive to its target demographic is the fact you can see someone doing something live if you catch it I time. Ephemeral content like Instagram is becoming more and more popular but it has a few minor issues.  I recently tried to watch a Merkat someone was doing at SXSW and found that they were showing off a car in front of a building. What they thought was something interesting ended up not being so interesting so they stopped the stream. I caught the tail end of “yeah, that’s all I got <click>”.  I watched a few other Meerkats that started and then ended the exact same way. This proves a few things, Meerkat is for long event like a concert or something that you know will be going on for a while or you should do a Meerkat if it isn’t even that interesting to you to begin with. The cost of bandwidth for streaming is a concern which may lead to short streams as well.

Meerkats model is to provide you with a service to let you stream, notify everyone on Twitter it’s happening and give your watchers a place to talk with one another while the thing is happening. It doesn’t provide much of an archive service nor a good way to export the streamed video to YouTube.

What do you think of Meerkat? Leave us a comment below.

Author information

Jason Tucker
Web Developer at Tucker Pro
Jason Tucker is a web developer, systems administrator and a father of three. Jason owns Tucker.Pro a web development company and is host of WPwatercooler a weekly WordPress web development and design YouTube channel and podcast. Jason also blogs over at WPMedia.Pro where he talks about working with audio and video on the web.

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