When Meerkat came into the scene, there was no other service like it, offering people a chance to broadcast live while they were at a concert, at an event, or just doing something interesting. It also gave other users the chance to experience something vicariously while watching said live broadcast. But soon afterwards, Twitter’s Periscope and then later on Facebook Live offered the same service, and of course since they have a larger network and marketing prowess, Meerkat was soon in trouble.
Sources are saying that the company’s CEO Ben Rubin has confirmed in an email to investors that they are already giving up on the live broadcast model, since they cannot go against the distribution model of the other two major players in the market. It will then be transitioning into a video social network where “everybody is always live”. However, what that will look like is still unknown at this point. What is sure is that they will be shifting focus, as well as resources, away from what people know them for.
But apparently, this has been happening for some months now. While May 2015 saw them reach a peak number of broadcasters, it has not grown as much as they want. They even added GoPro support as a last ditch effort, but even then, the number of regular broadcasters continued to dwindle as they switched over to the other two. So starting August 2015, they were already starting to tweak their business model. They stopped major product updates by September, and by October, Rubin was said to have revealed the plans to the board of directors.
We will probably be hearing from Meerkat what those plans are and what exactly do they mean by “video social network”. Early reports are saying it will be a group video chat that you and your friends can use. This is the direction that some messaging services are going to, so they should probably think of something special in order to go up against the Skypes and WhatsApps of this world.