Last year, Meerkat hoped to rise to success with its livestreaming video app. However, when facing major competition from juggernauts like Twitter’s Periscope, it just couldn’t keep up. So, now, the app is changing course.
Re/Code reported that Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin has acknowledged the failure of the app when it came to its livestreaming focus, and intends to take it in a whole new direction, where “everybody is always live.”
“It was a fucking hard decision to say ‘it’s not going to work, thank you everyone for the support,'” said Rubin. “One-too-many (broadcasting) is not more than a feature on top of a platform, and if we want to be independent, we have to change the course.”
Meerkat later pointed out these changes on an official blog post, with Rubin explaining, “The distribution advantages of Twitter/Periscope and Facebook Live drew more early users to them away from us and we were not able to grow as quickly alongside as we had planned.”
Despite this, Rubin did note a “bright spot” with the Meerkat business model before the changes. “We found the best Meerkat moments happened when people who knew each other (either in person or online) came together live and interacted in real-time. We saw this in the conversations when the threads would go on and on. We especially saw this in cameo when broadcasters were able to see their audience and interact in a more human way, people passed around the camera for a campfire chat session. And we saw many of these groups have the best repeat behavior of everyone.
“With the support of our board and the enthusiasm of the entire team, we began building a new product in October around this concept and are feeling good about its potential. At the same time, we’ve kept Meerkat running and stable and plan to monitor the network for anything that begins to draw new attention,” Rubin added.
While the business model hasn’t been fully revealed as of yet, these are likely to be changes for the better overall for the company – though it’s still unknown how well it’ll be able to keep up with Periscope’s surging success. Only time will tell.