The app quickly became a favourite of Product Hunt users after it was posted to the startup and app discovery website on Friday.
Meerkat is dead-simple to use.
Once you download the app, you press “stream” to start taking a video.
Once you do, Meerkat — which syncs with your Twitter account — automatically pushes out a link to your livestream in the form of a tweet. You can also choose to schedule your streams for later on.
Your Twitter followers who are on Meerkat will also get a notification from Meerkat. But it’s not just for Twitter or Meerkat users — anyone with the link to your video can watch what you’ve posted.
If people want to respond, though, they comment on your video in the form of Twitter replies.
Meerkat, which was built by San Francisco-based Life on Air, is built on top of Twitter using Twitter’s API, so you’re automatically connected to the people you follow on Twitter. There’s no search feature or profiles to worry about. You get points for using Meerkat, and the app has a leaderboard for your followers, though it isn’t clear what you can do to earn points besides, presumably, recording video.
Besides its initial fame on Product Hunt, the buzz around Meerkat seems to be stemming from viral popularity. People see Meerkat’s videos when their friends and the people they follow on Twitter post their first videos.
Though Twitter doesn’t comment on individual accounts or incidents, Meerkat co-founder Ben Rubin says the shutdown was automatic for Twitter, meaning it could have just been Twitter’s anti-spam system automatically kicking in.
Meerkat has an ephemeral quality similar to that of Snapchat. When you’re done livestreaming your video, it vanishes — unless you save it to your phone.
“Recently, we’ve been thinking about the wide range of news events and conversations happening around the world. Whether it’s civil rights issues being protested in Ferguson or musicians interrupting each other at an awards show, we kept wondering if we could get access to these moments in an easier way,” Rubin said on Product Hunt.
“We wanted to give you the option to press one button and stream live video over Twitter in the most frictionless way possible. Seamlessly moving the conversation that happens on the live stream to Twitter and vice versa.”