Live-streaming app provider Meerkat is moving its technology along, in spite of--and maybe because of--neck-and-neck competition with Twitter-owned Periscope. A new feature called "Cameo" allows a live-streamer to permit other Meerkat users to temporarily take over his or her feed.
Meerkat's Cameo feature demonstrated: at top, the livestream originator; at bottom, a viewer takes over the stream. (Source: Meerkat / Medium.com)
Meerkat is also moving away from its reliance on Twitter as a sign-up source, adding the capability to connect one's Facebook profile instead, and opening up a new social media sharing source via users' friend lists.
But back to Cameo. With this new feature, livestreamers on Meerkat can tap on one of their viewers' profiles and invite them to do a "cameo" within their original stream. That viewer can then basically take over the stream for up to 60 seconds (either user can end the cameo at any time before this), after which the cameo ends and the feed reverts back to the original livestream.
An added bonus is that the connected followers of the viewer making the cameo appearance all receive notifications that their friend is now live.
Noting that it is the app's biggest update to date, founder Ben Rubin said that Cameo furthers the company's mission of creative collaborative experiences. "The true power of being able to use your phone for live video is creating 'broadcast with' experiences. The power of participation is why we created Meerkat and why we are focused on pushing live video beyond 'broadcast to'."
Meerkat held an eight-hour "Cameo party" on launch day to promote the new feature.
"Cameo seems ripe with real-time marketing possibilities," an AdWeek article noted. For example, a brand marketer like Red Bull could intersperse a livestreamed event with cameo appearances by sports figures or other special guests. With Meerkat's ability to schedule and promote livestreams ahead of time, Cameo gives marketers another promotional tool to work with, the article said.
The Weather Channel, TMZ, Fox, CW and Michelle Phan are all using Cameo, Meerkat disclosed to AdWeek.
One more addition: users can now save their own past livestreams in their library on the app.
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