Read This Before Choosing Meerkat or Periscope

 UPDATED: April 06, 2015

meerkat vs periscope

Last week I went to my first NBA game and discovered a purpose for two things:

  1. A selfie stick
  2. The app I had downloaded but not yet properly used – Meerkat

It was a nail-biter end to the game so I started to stream it live. In a matter of seconds there was a handful of strangers watching the Kings beat the 76ers with me.

NBA game Meerkat tweet

Then, just as I got the hang of Meerkat, Periscope – the Meerkat “killer” – launches. Lots of new streaming opportunity in such a short amount of time. So what exactly do they do, and how can you start using them in your work? Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown.

What do they do?


Meerkat launched in late February and really found its footing during South by Southwest, as attendees started streaming live panels and concerts, and the tech press really hyped the app.

As my fellow Social@Ogilvy contributor Teresa pointed out, the app’s premise is simple: you quickly log in using your Twitter username, describe what you’re seeing, hit “stream”, and your followers are alerted to start watching. You can schedule a stream for a later time, too. After the stream, the video disappears a la Snapchat.


From Tyra Banks to Jimmy Fallon and Aaron Paul, celebrities have been quick to test out Periscope – the Twitter-acquired answer to Meerkat that launched on March 26. The differences in the apps are subtle, but important.

Both apps rely heavily on Twitter, but only Periscope has access to Twitter’s full social graph, which makes discovering streams from people you already follow so much easier. After you’re done streaming, Periscope saves your stream to your phone’s camera roll and to your Periscope profile.

So while celebrities are onboard with Periscope, and many are predicting Meerkat’s demise, it’s likely that one or more live stream apps will continue to build a following in some fashion and it’s worth thinking about how or if to use them in your work. There are so many opportunities.

How can you use them?

The better question may be: should you use these apps? As with every new app or platform, the socially savvy brands are already starting to see how they can play along. There’s something about spontaneous streaming from a cell phone that makes Periscope and Meerkat exciting, but also intimidating, for brands. Five things to keep in mind before you jump into the streaming fray:

  1. Be Authentic: this is a biggie. Don’t force a live stream that doesn’t make sense or it will be awkward, a waste of time, or it may present a bad look for your brand. Do you have something notable like an event or announcement happening that your average follower/customer would truly care about? If yes, then pull out your iPhone and give it a shot. If your brand is big on behind-the-scenes content, streaming will be a fantastically authentic activity.
  2. Have Real Conversations: a live stream isn’t just another opportunity to share a scripted brand message – talk to your followers. Consider using a live stream as a real-time sounding board for new ideas. Literally ask questions and give authentic unscripted answers.
  3. Partner with Influencers: you may be working at a small or niche organization that doesn’t have a ready-made following to find you on Periscope or Meerkat. Consider partnering with a person or organization that compliments what you’re trying to do, and has a dedicated following. Maybe you do a joint live stream. Maybe you sponsor an influencer’s personal stream at your brand’s event.
  4. Be Creative: the benefit of a new app or platform is that there are no established rules. Some of the more obvious uses are at events like New York Fashion Week or a big press announcement. Imagine a designer streaming and giving live commentary as their collection is on the runway. Maybe your CEO is about to give a big speech and decides to stream a preview to the announcement. Better yet, why doesn’t the CEO break some news on Meerkat? If you’re thinking about distributing a piece of content on other social media channels, take a second and see if there’s an opportunity to do it via live stream.
  5. Test and Learn: your first live stream may attract five thousand viewers. It may attract no viewers. You might find that people enjoy when you stream video from brainstorms in your conference room or you might find that you only attract viewers when your celebrity spokespeople are hosting the stream. Give it a shot in various formats and track your results to see how they map back to your overall marketing goals.

Selfie Sticks

Oh – the selfie stick. Right. One big downside of these apps is arm strength. Who wants to hold their phone up during a basketball game or a concert or a press conference? Periscope should sell a branded stick through Twitter. I’d buy one.

Meerkat vs. Periscope: Top Line Takeaways for Mobile Live Streaming

Social@Ogilvy Briefing: Meerkat vs. Periscope from Social@Ogilvy

3 Reasons Meerkat is All the Hype Right Now

What is it?

Meerkat is a live video streaming app that debuted about two weeks ago but really picked up traction thanks to SXSW. It uses your Twitter log-in and once you click “stream”, the app Tweets out a Meerkat URL to your followers of your live filming. Followers can then Tweet at you and it’ll show up in the app.


Why is it so popular?

1. The creators played it smart and released it right before SXSW. They knew their target audience of tech-savvy users would be in attendance. However, many start-ups also release their products during these tech festivals every year but don’t fare so well.

2. Meerkat was able to rise above the noise because it is different from anything on the market – the best apps gain traction when it enhances an experience or adds value. We already know apps that allow instant, real-time sharing (Instagram, Snapchat) is where the younger audience is spending their time. An app like Meerkat allows users to share to their network exactly what they’re doing at that exact time. Once the livestream ends, the URL will become inactive.

3. It’s also helped that Twitter has kicked up a bit of a fuss about allowing Meerkat to access it’s social graph since Twitter is working on releasing video apps of their own. It’s attempted crack-down on Meerkat has only furthered interest in the app.

What marketers should do…

Try it out! Incorporate Meerkat into plans for producing a new form of video content at events, teaser looks behind the scenes, exclusive live access for social audiences, and more.

For inspiration, keep an eye on how early adopters Starbucks, Red Bull, and Jimmy Fallon are using the app.

Twitter and the Growing Popularity of Messaging Apps

Twitter announced two new capabilities this week for its desktop and mobile application platforms: video uploads and group messaging.

While the former is a helpful way for users to spend more time on its platform, the latter points to a trend in the US that advertisers should keep a close watch on in case they haven’t already: private group messaging apps.

While social media centers around publishing content publicly into the social web, research provided below shows that users are steadily growing their usage of private messaging apps, which offer social tools including video, image, emoji, and link sharing to enjoy a “much more intimate experience.”

A Closer Look at Private Messaging Apps

What makes the group messaging apps so attractive is simple: they allow users to send text, links, video and photos to friends at cheaper rates than traditional text messaging services and allows them to connect in a private manner with multiple friends at once.

The growth in messaging apps, is likely a response to the more public nature of popular apps like Twitter and Facebook, where status updates and posts are visible to the many rather than the few. – NY Times

Messaging apps WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, are quite robust and offer tools that extend their value beyond sending content.

The US is showing signs of catching up to this robust private messaging trend. For example, Snapchat users can send money to one another within the app.  A “Discover” section in Snapchat’s new update lets users receive news and fresh content from brands including Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, VICE, and the Food Network.

WhatsApp Puts the Spotlight on Private Messaging

WhatsApp may be relatively unknown in the U.S. when compared with its usage in Asia, but this private chat application has 700 million monthly active users, and noticing the rise in private messaging apps, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in February for $21.8 billion.

Fred Wilson, a Venture Capitalist known for investing early in Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and other social platforms, expressed his views on private messaging apps in a recent blog post: “Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp in February of this year was the transaction that defined this trend.”

In addition, Mr. Wilson comments that in 2015, “More Asian penetration into the US market will come from the messenger sector as both Line and WeChat make strong moves to gain a share of the lucrative US messenger market.”

Private Messaging’s ImpactFacebook Messenger

Private messaging apps may take some share away from traditional social media platforms. For example, below you’ll note how Facebook Messenger places a minor but noticeable dent in Facebook’s platform usage.

According to comScore’s mobile app usage report (Nov 2014), Facebook’s app was the top app (by percent of overall reach) in November, at 69%.

Facebook’s Messenger app came in fifth place, with a reach of 43.1 percent. According to comScore, just a year ago, “those numbers stood at 76.2 percent and 22.1 percent, respectively.’

comScore mobile apps

Source: comScore

An interesting Tweet showcasing the importance Mark Zuckerberg places on messaging apps come from CNBC’s Eli Langer:


Brands Are Testing the Waters

In the US, the private messaging apps may not be big enough to justify your attention. BBC and WSJ recently tried messaging app Line to cover the Charlie Hebdo story and did not see a significant spike in traffic.


Image Source: Digiday 

Advertisers should take note of the potential presented by private messaging apps in the US. Their popularity here is clearly growing: Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat being two key examples highlighted in this note. The social web continues to change and private messaging apps are presenting a new and exciting way to communicate with your audience.

Your Experience

Do you see yourself sharing more content within a private group messaging app? I would love to know the impact private messaging apps may be having on your content sharing experience.

Social Digest – Is it too late to change the name?

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. This week hear about Instagram, brand fails, and the new trailer for Ant Man (and, unfortunately for Paul Rudd, it seems it is too late to change the name). Enjoy!




  • Instagram now dominates Twitter on engagement, not just users
  • A teen’s eye view of social media. While it’s an insightful post, it is just a window into one teen’s opinion and usage habits. For more perspectives, click onto the comments on the right hand side

In other news…


  • Virgin Trains saves this poor man from a loo roll predicament, via Twitter
  • Congrats Pepsi, this week you made it onto the (still fairly short) list of YouTube pre-roll ads I didn’t skip past
  • Redditors smelled a rat when Nissan & Renault’s CEO conducted an AMA (Ask Me Anything)
  • In a move towards a more tailored stream, Twitter rolls out a ‘while you were away’ recap feature
  • Get your brand’s social profiles into the first page of Google’s results
  • Google’s customisable phone, Project Ara, is coming to Puerto Rico this year

Just for fun




Worth a Watch



GIF of the Fortnight

“I dare you to throw that onto the ice”

[Can’t see this GIF?]

Cheers, see you in two weeks,


PS Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit of an eggs-aggeration?

PPS I saw Birdman yesterday – believe the hype, it’s great.


@biz987  || @socialogilvy

Social Digest – Is it next year yet?

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. So, for the last time this year, enjoy! 





2014 on…



In other news…


  • Skeletor + Honda = A pretty cool Twitter takeover that many initially thought was a hack
  • And finally, want a LinkedIn endorsement from Liam Neeson? Good luck

Just for fun


  • Oh Benedict… first otters, now milk
  • And finally, help yourself to a badass job title here


Worth a Watch



GIF of the Fortnight


Okay folks, since it’s the last Social Digest of 2014, I thought I’d treat you to a triple dose of wonderful GIF awesomeness…

“You take over from here”

Steady…. steady… hold it… aaaand RUN

Too eager 



See you in 2015, folks!

PS: To all you wonderful people who have read this little newsletter all year, clicked away at the little links, and giggled at the little GIFs, I thank you. Please keep reading, keep sharing, and as ever, if you see anything noteworthy or lolworthy, I’d love to see it too: @biz987

Social Digest – But what do the blue ticks mean?

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. Enjoy! 



  • The annual ad that’s guaranteed to make everyone go “N’awwwww”. Parodies here
  • This is the most innovative use of YouTube as a platform, IMHO, since hunter shoots a bear (Press the R key intermittently during the video)


In other news…


  • Google launches Fit

Just for fun


  • Who Is U2? (This feels old now but I’m still including it because you might giggle.)
  • Ever wondered about whether they’d start making First Person Shooter FILMS? Wonder no more (In case you’re interested, like I was, in how this came about, it seems film director Timur Bekmambetov approached the guy who made Bad Motherf*****, the mesmerising FPS music video/short film (which you NEED to watch now if you haven’t seen it yet) and they’re now trying to raise enough cash to create a feature film. Rad.)
  • Oh, you didn’t realise they were selfies? Now you know

Worth a Watch

  • ‘The Instagram Generation’ now experiences the present as an anticipated memory (If you can get past the cheesy voice over and music, it’s actually a pretty profound point)
  • This agency rewards its employees in the most amusingly sadistic way possible (1min20 is GOLD)


Vines of the Fortnight

Samsung’s decent Halloween vines to promote their new vacuum cleaner: herehere, and here


GIFs of the Fortnight

A drone flying through fireworks:


Two feet, four pads:



Cheers, see you in two weeks,

Social Digest – I think you’ve got something on your face

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. This week, treat yourself to some social media wins and fails, plus the usual goodies from the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Vine. Nom nom nom…

Continue reading Social Digest – I think you’ve got something on your face

Social Digest – The true cost of Comic Sans


Because everyone loves a good font anecdote right? No? In that case, you should probably just close this window right now. Still here? Okay let’s get started then… welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London.

Continue reading Social Digest – The true cost of Comic Sans

Social is not a medium

2020 vision

In the not-at-all-distant future, expect apps that think for you and more control over your data. Guest post by Mike Rodionov, Account Supervisor, Ogilvy Healthworld.

Whether you think of it as Orwellian intrusion or welcome convenience, you can expect that in the near future, your devices will become increasingly capable of doing your thinking for you. That was the key takeaway from the Social Media Week panel “2020 vision: What your life will look like in 6 years.”

Panelists noted that the major information trend we’ve seen in the last two years is data becoming more relevant and accessible—more tailored to our personal interests. By 2020 we might see Google Now-like technology permeate our lives, making data available before we ask for it, and helping us keep track of our habits and routines. Our main function will be to optimize the feed, or adjust it in the moment.

How might data affect your day to day?

Any app that’s relevant to you will be able to provide alerts or info, relevant to you, at a key time, possibly before you ask for it. For example: Your fitness-activity monitor, which knows you go running every Tuesday and Thursday, will let you know one of the streets on your route is closed due to construction and will know how to adjust your route, while keeping your distance, elevation, and other metrics generally the same. Or, your “blog” (if such a thing still exists) will know the documents you’re working on in Google Docs, and will alert you of any upcoming events or news to motivate you to publish the post sooner.

The arrival of personal dashboards

Right now we can check out Klout scores, but have no clue as to what other ripples occur when we throw our pebbles into the social-media pond. Facebook, for one, is learning a whole lot from the habits we might not even be aware of. So by 2020 we might have a personal dashboard that will be able to aggregate all the data we’re generating for our review. This will allow us to adjust our streams of information to marketers or recruiters by turning off certain channels.

Overall, tech will continue to make us smarter, higher functioning, and more well rounded. More of us will use more of it, provided it becomes easier to use. How, then, do brands engage us? Shouting and throwing content at the audience no longer works. But it’s hard to engage with audiences in a traditional sense because now we, the audiences, engage with one another—and not so much with brand-generated content anymore.

The panelists’ advice: Brands should be transparent and honest; no tricking users into clicking on an ad. But they also need to provide a clear and relevant incentive: Hey, if you watch this ad, you can get 20% off the roses you’re about to buy.

Hence, social is not a medium—it’s a behavior. Brands should embrace and act accordingly.

Tools We Love: Vinyet for Vine Videos


In making vines for our clients, we’ve often wondered if there was a way to get past the app’s production limitations. We’ve found a solution in using the Vinyet App and it could be just the tool you’re looking for too. In addition to careful planning and creative thinking, here’s how Vinyet can help in your video-making process:


1. Save Video to Your Phone, Release Later

Vinyet allows you to save a Vine to your camera roll without publishing it. If you want to privately share a Vine before releasing it publicly, save it to your camera roll and send it out as a text, email, or post it on a private YouTube page. You can then re-upload the video into the app and release it at your discretion.


2. Upload Videos Into Vine

With Vinyet’s upload tool, you can upload any video from your camera roll into the app – whether it was created on your phone or not. Word to the wise – Vine has been known to take down videos that clearly haven’t been made on a phone or uploaded through other hacks so be careful.


3. Edit Videos Before Release

Vinyet offers in-app edit controls that allow for greater flexibility. In the following Vine we created with State Street, we were able to record time-lapse footage over a period of time and then edit it into a single video:


4. Time-lapse Controls and Support

Vinyet simplifies the process of creating time-lapse video. You can set a delay for how often a video is recorded (every 0-5 seconds) as well as how long the video should be recorded for (0.1-3 seconds). Vinyet will then record automatically at these intervals for up to 15 seconds. By using the edit function, you can trim the footage down to be 6 seconds long.


5. Filters and Music Files

Vinyet allows for a wide array of filters to be applied to your Vine video, from sepia to a chiaroscuro. You can even add a music track from your library to your video.


vinyet filter


Note that if you signed up for Vine using a Twitter account, make sure to add an email to your account profile. Vinyet requires the email and password for your Vine account before publishing.

Happy Vine-ing!