It is difficult to keep up with social media apps and networks. Though the big names have remained pretty much the same for a few years, there are always new contenders.
Last year Meerkat was a bright and fast burning star that brought a lot of attention to using mobile broadcasting. Meerkat got users quickly, but Facebook and Twitter introduced Periscope to quickly jump into the space too with their own tools and Meerkat fell.
Meerkat’s Ben Rubin said last year that its appeal was “spontaneous togetherness.” Requiring only a few taps on a phone to reach friends and interested strangers was very appealing and the company quickly raised $12 million in new funding from investors who thought it could be the next major social tool.
The app was released in February 2015, and found an audience after its debut on the website Product Hunt and use during the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in March 2015. But on October 4, 2016, Meerkat was shut down.
If businesses put any effort or money into using it, it was time and resources without any ROI. But there is always that temptation to get on board with new tools rather than look behind the times or have to play catch-up.
Meerkat is no more but its website now redirects you to Houseparty another app for video chatting with friends that the company is calling a “synchronous social network.”
The app for Android and iOS has been gaining traction with young people with about a million users.
Rather than billing Houseparty as a way to broadcast to the world, it is billed as a way to have frequent, candid conversations with friends and family.
Does it have business applications? Not so far. Will it last longer than Meerkat, and will Facebook, Twitter and any other networks have their own version soon? I don’t place bets on social media.