How will Meerkat battle Periscope? It won’t be on Twitter, and they’re not even going to rely on Facebook to get them back to the promised land of live-streaming favor. Instead, Meerkat is launching a Developer platform and series of APIs. That move positions Meerkat as a stage for others to stand on; a platform other apps can lean on. It’ll also create a deluge of Meerkat-ish apps, some of which likely to do little more than tap into Meerkat’s stream for your viewing pleasure.
“We all get better by working together” wrote the Meerkat team in announcing the move on Medium. While they want Developers to work on Meerkat, the team also has guidelines Developers need to follow to make sure Meerkat keeps its current sense of self.
So what will you be able to do with an app developer via Meerkat’s platform? For now, it’s all viewership and interaction. Via their guidelines and APIs, Meerkat is letting Developers create apps that entice active viewership and engagement. There are no broadcasting APIs just yet.
What is available suggests Meerkat is trying to become a live-streaming platform, much like YouTube is for hosted content. Developers can feed users info on scheduled streams, what those streams are about, and even tap into saved streams for viewing later on.
On iOS, Meerkat quickly ceded to Twitter-owned Periscope. The same is likely to occur on Android should Meerkat stay a straight-up live-streaming app. Limited in scope, these APIs still may keep Meerkat relevant well past live-streaming.