Buzzy live streaming video app du jour Meerkat, which makes it super easy to live stream video to your Twitter followers (and has just pulled in $12M from Greylock at a $40M valuation), does include an option to save your video once you’ve killed the stream — but hey, in the slick environs of frictionless social broadcasting who has time for after-the-fact uploading?
So here’s Katch* to take the incremental strain out of your post-Meerkat experience via a hashtag-triggered auto-upload. (*not to be confused with ad-targeting ecommerce SaaS Katch.com)
Add #Katch to your Meerkat video description tweet and the service will record and upload the live stream to YouTube, tweeting you a link to the video once it’s done processing — like so (below) — and adding to the tally of badly framed videos on YouTube:
You don’t even have to download a Katch app to work this automagic — it’s all done by hashtag. We can but dream that one day all things will be so trivially achievable. #fame #wealth #happiness
Katch, which bills itself as “the record button for Meerkat” — and touts the frankly eye-bleeding notion that you “never have to miss another Meerkat” — is the work of Tarikh Korula, who also co-founded hashtag ranking service Seen.co, which promises to filter signal from social noise via its SeenRank algorithm (which figures out which topic-based media is getting the most eyeballs so you don’t have to).
Korula has also been known to take to the stage as TC’s hackmaster at our Disrupt New York hackathon.
Katch is currently topping product discovery service Product Hunt’s daily leaderboard with 56 upvotes, and some enthusiastic comments from Product Hunt co-founder Ryan Hoover — who notes it’s “another example of an invisible app — a product that doesn’t have its own interface, integrated within people’s existing workflow”. Or tl:dr #simples.
Also impressed by this modest Meerkat hack: Meerkat’s very own co-founder and CEO Ben Rubin — who gave it his emoji-blessing yesterday…
One other thing to note is it’s (currently) possible to #Katch other people’s Meerkat streams — by adding the hashtag to a retweet of another person’s Meerkat LIVE NOW tweet. Doing so can record and upload someone else’s stream to YouTube without their say-so. Which may well raise some hackles.
We’ve put some questions to Korula about his intentions with Katch and will update this post with any response. and he’s calling the project a “proof of concept” at this nascent stage.
“We were spelunking the undocumented API on Tuesday and riffing on some ideas for features we might hack. The plan was to build a feature that we wanted and see if anyone else did too. We wanted to match the delightfulness of the [Meerkat] app with a simple and delightful implementation. We brainstormed some more on Wednesday and started building on Thursday — we finished late Friday night and people found it and started using it on Saturday,” he says, explaining the dev process.
In terms of where they’re planning to take Katch, he says the team has ideas for more features to add “if it seems like the community wants them”.
One example of extending Katch’s functionality might be to allow users to log in so they can manage the content they’ve auto-uploaded to YouTube after the fact.
On katching others’ content, Korula says that after initially enabling this they are tweaking it so it’s not such a free-for-all. “After chatting with some early users we’re dialing it back so users can request a #katch to a broadcaster, but the broadcaster has the ultimate right to decide,” he adds.