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Meerkat abandons streaming: studying a social network of videos

The app that fought Periscope, after the advent of Facebook Live, lets go: it abandons the business model to become a social network, with live videos always at the center

(Photo: Maurizio Pesce / Wired)(Photo: Maurizio Pesce / Wired)

Sometimes surrender is an excellent attack strategy. Meerkat, after a year of battling, trying to outperform Periscope's competition with new features and options, raises its hands: forget the business model of live streaming video to become something else. If the struggle with Twitter's live video service was already complex, the coup de grace for Meerkat arrived with Facebook's live streaming.

Ben Rubin, the CEO of Meerkat, explained it well in an email sent to his 48 investors: "The year started well, but then the waters turned stormy. Mobile video broadcasting did not fully explode as we hoped. The periscope distribution benefits of Twitter and Facebook Live have attracted novice users by moving them away from us, which we can no longer grow rapidly as we had expected".

On the other hand, those who don't, don't make mistakes (and vice versa). Meerkat is working on "a social network where everyone is always live," explained the CEO in an interview with Re / Code, even if he did not want to unbalance in detail. He did not therefore renounce the idea that live streaming can work or is worth using, but the model with which it was exploited is no longer viable. Over the next three months, something more should be discovered about the startup's new adventures.


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