The social media world has been introduced to a new technological advancement – live streaming apps. Live streaming apps provide users with the opportunity to broadcast live video and audio from their smartphones to followers, who can then comment on the action as it takes place. The link can be passed along to others to boost the audience. But while live streaming is likely to become a craze with purely social users, it also has a number of applications for businesses.
Introducing Meerkat and Periscope
Meerkat scampered onto the social media scene at the beginning of March 2015. The idea was inspired by a similar live broadcasting application called Yevvo, which launched in mid-2013. But with a lack of focus and limited social sharing capability, it didn’t really kick off. Meerkat aimed to engage a much wider community, similar to Twitter. However, Meerkat didn’t corner the market for long. Just two weeks later, Twitter’s rival offering Periscope popped up at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, after a year in development.
How they work
The two apps work in a similar way, but Twitter-owned Periscope is actually more independent from Twitter than Meerkat, which relies on the social media platform quite heavily. In Meerkat, any Likes and comments are reflected on the user’s Twitter profile, whereas all engagement on Periscope is kept within the app.
Periscope also allows viewers to Like the content by tapping the screen as often as they want. Each tap sends a small heart floating up from the screen’s bottom right-hand corner, which lets the broadcasters see how engaged the audience is.
Life after streaming
In Meerkat, once the live streaming session has been finished, the video disappears from the app. Although it can be saved to a user’s personal camera roll, others will no longer be able to watch it. This adds to the level of exclusivity for those that do tune in.
On the other hand, Periscope videos are saved to the app by default and are available for viewing by followers for almost 24 hours. The user can choose to manually delete them, however, and save them to their phone’s camera roll.
So how can live video streaming be used for your organisation?
The opportunities are endless. Imagine producing live broadcasts of your product launches or company events. Or opening up the floor for followers to provide real-time feedback and input to keynote addresses by players in your organisation. You could use it to run training sessions, or even set up a live company TV channel to give exclusive product or service updates. In addition to gaining insightful feedback and instantly seeing the level of engagement with your target audience, another benefit of these live streaming apps is that you’re able to put a “real” face on your company and humanise your brand.
So check out Meerkat and Periscope, and look at ways that you can make live streaming part of your content marketing strategy.