Twitter Is Winning The Live Streaming Battle

Twitter Is Winning The Live Streaming Battle

Following its acquisition of live streaming app Periscope, Twitter has been actively fighting to make sure its service beats that of independent competitor Meerkat, which had a slightly earlier start. In recent weeks, Twitter has made changes to cut off Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social graph, and even began pushing celebrities and publishers to stop using Meerkat. Those efforts appear to be paying off for Twitter, according to new data out now, which shows Periscope leading Meerkat by nearly half a percentage point in terms of monthly active users on iOS.
The rival services, which both offer apps that allow users to broadcast live from their smartphone directly to Twitter, have been battling for consumers’ attention while quickly rolling out improvements to their respective apps. Last month, for example, Meerkat introduced new discovery features and recommendations, while Periscope’s more recent update made it easier to find broadcasts from friends.
And just today, Meerkat has one-upped Twitter again by being first out of the gate with an Android app, though access is still invite-only at this point.
Twitter, however, still has the advantage as it controls the platform and, as a larger, publicly traded company, already has the resources to court the celebrities, media companies and others who could help make its platform a success. Plus, if need be, it could even strong-arm customers and other brands into using Periscope by cutting off their access to ad products like Amplify if they chose to work with Meerkat instead.
And of course Twitter also has vastly more resources to throw at Periscope, from an engineering, marketing, and recruiting perspective.
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Now it appears that Twitter’s aggressive tactics have been working. Periscope overtook Meerkat in terms of monthly active users during the week of March 22nd. At that point, Meerkat had a 0.2% reach on iOS and Periscope had a 0.3% reach, according to data from 7Park. “Reach,” in this case, is defined as the monthly active users the app has, as a percentage of millions of iOS users in the U.S. between March and April 2015.
The following week, the gap between the two apps widened, as Meerkat’s reach slipped to 0.1% and Periscope climbed up to 0.5%.
However, it’s worth pointing out that in the grand scheme of things, these numbers are still low. The two services are battling over a very small audience, compared with other social applications. For comparison’s sake, Twitter reaches around 19% of U.S. iOS users while its Vine video app reaches 5.4%. And Snapchat tops them all with a 29.8% reach.
That being said, growing to even half a percentage point in a matter of weeks is a strong launch for a new app, and it’s likely that Periscope will continue to grow in the months ahead, especially with Twitter’s full efforts behind it.

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