AFPL App of the Week: Meerkat

Woooooaah talk about BURSTING onto the scene! This app has been only in the app store since February 27th but it has already made a huge mark in the future of social networking. We’re talking about the live streaming app: Meerkat.

To start, lets talk about what live streaming is and what it is and what it can offer. Many different start ups and video companies have taken a stab at streaming video. Most notably, websites like justin.tv, uStream, and even YouTube have all dabbled in live video streaming and have had some success with it. Also, messaging apps like Skype, Apple Facetime, and GoToMeeting utilize streaming video. The problem is it usually means sitting down at a desktop computer at the precise time that an event is scheduled and hoping it loads correctly. Even Apple, renowned for their product reliability, has had issues with streaming live video as recently as their iPhone 6 announcement.

So what makes Meerkat different? It is not based around a website or a messaging app. It’s built around Twitter. So when you’re floating through your Twitter newsfeed, you’ll be instantly notified when a live stream is happening and you can access it within the Twitter app itself. If you are the one who is streaming video, you can also interact with your twitter followers while the live stream is active. This is important because you can get feedback about what your viewers want to see, or you can talk to your followers about what you are streaming. All using Twitter!

We tried it here at the library and let me tell ya, it is super easy to use. Once you’re signed in, it takes seconds to start streaming to the world. We do recommend being on Wi-Fi as this could eat up a lot of data usage, but otherwise this is a great app for people who are interested in showing their Twitter followers what they do.

According to Gary Vaynerchuk, an Internet personality and entrepreneur whose use of social media and viral video has netted him more than 1.3 million Twitter followers,“Within a few minutes, 500 to 800 people are watching me live, at any given time,” says Vaynerchuck. “That is insanity, if you think about it . . . and don’t forget, I am a 39-year-old male who talks about business, so my demo isn’t the most native to this.” (source: TIME.com)

We here at the library plan on using Meerkat to hopefully stream some of our future programs using this service. If you’re interested in watching some of these programs or just interested in following the day to day library news, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @avalonlibrary!

If you want more information about Meerkat, be sure to check out this amazing TIME Magazine article, or go straight to Meerkat’s website.

About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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