Meerkat, the company that made the buzzy app of the same name from over a year ago that effectively kicked off the live streaming app craze, is trying something new.
According to a source, the company is testing a new group video chat app called Houseparty, which is already available in the App Store. The developer for the app is listed as Alexander Herzick, a VP at Telegraph Hill Partners, a private equity firm.
It’s unclear if Telegraph Hill has invested in Meerkat. Herzick did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Ben Rubin, Meerkat’s CEO, declined to comment when reached by phone. He has said in the past the company would try something other than live streaming.
Houseparty looks pretty standard — invite your friends and have a group video chat in a cutesy interface. I couldn’t test the app for myself since none of my friends are using it. Here’s a quick promotional video from the app’s YouTube page:
Meerkat has raised $17.5 million so far, according to Crunchbase. Its investors include Greylock Partners, Comcast Ventures, and Jared Leto.
Meerkat had the tech world salivating over the prospect of live streaming during spring of 2015. The app was pretty much all anyone could talk about at last year’s SXSW festival. But Meerkat quickly got the wind knocked out of it after Twitter launched its live-streaming app Periscope. More recently, Facebook seems to be dominating live streaming now that the News Feed algorithm heavily promotes live video. Facebook also pays media organisations to publish a certain amount of live video per week.
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