Periscope got so big so fast that it became hard to find friends’ broadcasts, or make sense of the rapid-fire comments on popular streams.
Today, Twitter’s livestream app acquisition tried to address those problems by splitting the “Watch” tab into separate “Friends” and “Global” tabs, so every live broadcast in the world doesn’t drown out those from people you know. Periscope celebrities can now also turn on “Follower Only” mode so only people they follow are allowed to comment on their streams.
These features could make Periscope more personal while still keeping its windows to the world open.
Now the question is whether Twitter’s Periscope, and independent app Meerkat will co-exist as competitors, or whether one will soak up most of the livestreams.
According to analytics service App Annie, Periscope is holding relatively strong after its launch on March 26th, staying at #18 in the US-Social Networkings ranks, and #123 in the US-Overall chart after peaking at #31.
Meerkat never climbed that high, peaking at 140 in the US-Overall chart. And since Periscope’s launch, it’s taken a hard dive in download rates.
Still, I haven’t seen as few Meerkat streams as I would have expected, and some social media stars like Nicholas Megalis are still active on it.
But with Twitter’s might behind Periscope, it will likely be able to improve its app faster, and get help with recruiting, marketing, engineering, and internationalization. Meerkat is said to have raised $12 million from Greylocke, but it will need to galvanize its user base and keep them loyal for the long-haul.
Livestreaming could easily be a market big enough for the both of them, but if Periscope does run away with the race, Meerkat’s best bet might be a buyout from some other tech giant.