Meerkat is the latest app making waves in the increasingly cluttered social space. This aptly named app enables live video streaming, allowing viewers to interact through comments that are displayed in a live feed.
Twitter have launched their own solution; Periscope, also allowing live streaming, but crucially can connect with your Twitter followers and have the stream discoverable up to 24 hours after it has finished.
Despite live streaming services having been around for years, this is the first time that a number of elements have collided to make this a real opportunity for advertisers. Namely, smartphones, connection speeds, and a way to get mass reach (by piggybacking off an established social network).
The primary value to marketers is using these platforms for real-time shows, whether having a hang out-esquestream, or live demoing a product. It’s ideal for brands that want to show their followers an un-edited perspective of something they know their followers are eager to see.
In terms of scale, Meerkat has 300,000 registered users, whereas Periscope instantly taps into Twitters 284m users.
This advancement in social streaming is an interesting innovation for brands. For retailers the platform could be a great way to showcase in-store events to their online following. A travel company, for example, could live stream from the beaches of a top destination. Or used as part of a celebrity partnership, followers could have access to their unfiltered experience of a product or service.
As with anything live, the opportunities are as exciting as they are dangerous. The need for careful planning is a given along with top quality production. Watching a live stream of Jamie Oliver flambéing his eyebrows might be hugely entertaining, but a marketing disaster for the brand live streaming it.
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