Meerkat embraces Facebook, distances itself from Twitter

Meerkat streaming app
Live-streaming video app Meerkat launched a few weeks ahead of Periscope, Twitter’s own take on live-streaming, and for a short while it seemed as though that would be enough to keep Meerkat ahead. Then Twitter limited Meerkat’s access to its social graph and suddenly, Meerkat’s future wasn’t so certain.

Twitter has also done a lot to heighten Periscope’s public profile, even urging celebrities to use its app instead of Meerkat. With that kind of pressure, it was clear that Meerkat would need to resort to alternate measures moving forward.

Meerkat managed to beat Periscope to the punch in developing an Android app, and it has also now begun distancing itself from Twitter. An update to the app announced over the weekend introduces Facebook support, including the ability for users to log in with their Facebook account. Users will also be able to post notices of upcoming streams as well as currently airing streams directly to Facebook.

This is an important move, as relying on another company’s infrastructure ultimately puts much of Meerkat’s fate in the hands of that company. In Twitter’s case, the company has every reason to promote Periscope and downplay Meerkat, so adding support for more services is a necessity.

This comes as rumors are circling that Facebook may be looking at acquiring Meerkat. While this is a somewhat obvious move, as the social giant may want its own app to counter Twitter’s, it may not be all that easy. The two services operate very differently, and Facebook’s nature might not fit live-streaming the same way that Twitter’s does, Venture Beat’s Ruth Reader points out.

The Meerkat update also added two other features. As a stream increases in popularity, it is marked as “mobbing” and moved to Meerkat’s main feed, with an animated Meerkat then appearing to the stream’s viewers. Emoji support has also been added.

It isn’t likely that the Facebook support and Android app will propel Meerkat back to its former popularity, but this is a necessary move. To see the new features for yourself, check out the updated Meerkat in the App Store or the Google Play Store.

Home Theater

MGM joins the streaming mega-race with launch of Epix Now service

In a widely anticipated move, MGM has launched Epix Now, a streaming platform that combines all four of its live TV channels, and a huge catalog of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Social Media

Twitter boss again teases the idea of a button to edits tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has suggested the company is still looking at options for allowing people to edit tweets. Ideas include a function that gives you up to 30 seconds to recall a tweet before it goes live on the service.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.