You may or may not remember Meerkat, an app that really started the whole live broadcasting trend. Its rise to fame was quick and unexpected, but alas, its descent into oblivion was just as fast. And just few days ago, Ben Rubin – the co-founder of Life On Air, the company behind Meerkat – officially announced that the app is no more.
Shortly after Life On Air launched Meerkat on Product Hunt, it just sort of exploded. It was a simple idea, and it worked well. You simply had to connect your Facebook or Twitter account, and voila, you could live stream videos directly to your followers on your mobile device. The app became immensely popular after it was widely used during SXSW. However, its popularity was a very short-lived one, unfortunately.
Just weeks after Life On Air released Meerkat, Twitter announced the acquisition of Periscope in a cool $100 million deal. Periscope became Meerkat’s direct competitor except it gave you an option save streams so you could play them back later. Soon after that, Meerkat just disappeared into oblivion.
More than a year later, the co-founder of Life On Air has announced that Meerkat is officially dead and is no longer available:
We may have just pulled Meerkat from the app store, but it was actually six months after we launched that we made the decision to change direction. The category of broadcast (one-to-many) wasn’t breaking as a daily habit…it’s too far away from the everyday user.
However, Life On Air has another app in store for us – a video chat app that it’s been working on in secret for months:
The mission of our company has always been to connect people in the most human way possible while physically apart. Not only do we believe that Houseparty is a better manifestation of that vision, but also the market has shown us that too…spreading the app simply by word of mouth.
Houseparty is essentially a video chat application that lets you jump in and out of different groups of up to eight users. Although the app is still in its beta stage, it is reported to be nearing one million users. If you’re curious, you can click the button below to try it out.
Are you saddened to see Meerkat go? How often do you live stream videos from your phone? Let us know by commenting below!