How many social media services do we need that do the same thing: let you post messages, let you post pictures, let you post videos? It feels like new competition is popping up all the time, with barely distinguishable feature sets (oh, you let users post six-second videos? Well I let users post twelve-second videos). Eventually, some will find success, and others will fail, and as those see their peers pass them by, the less-successful services can always try and reinvent themselves in the hopes of staying relevant. That’s just what Meerkat’s doing now, as it turns its back on the whole live-streaming-broadcast thing.
Meerkat debuted just about a year ago, giving Android and iOS users a tool for streaming live video right from their phone. But in a world that also has Periscope, to say nothing of live video support from giants like Facebook, Meerkat’s been unable to turn its early success into a reliable platform for discovering new content.
Going forward, Meerkat’s forgetting about video broadcasting and focusing instead on more of a video-chat strategy, connecting small groups of users for collaboration. We don’t have all the details just yet, but CEO Ben Rubin reports that Meerkat should have something ready to share in about three months or so.
Will that reinvention be enough to save Meerkat, or is this just the beginning of the end? We should find out this summer.