When Twitter announced it’d purchased livestreaming app Persicope lat month, a similar app called Meerkat was already creating quite a stir in the tech community, as well as on Twitter, which users of both apps rely on to reach and build an audience.
Keen to ensure Periscope beats out its rival, Twitter has reportedly started directly contacting high-profile Meerkat users to persuade them to switch to Periscope.
According to multiple sources who spoke to TechCrunch, the social media giant has been contacting not only celebrities who use Meerkat, but media companies, too. The sources even claim that Twitter has told the companies that if they don’t ditch Meerkat in favor of Periscope, it could have a negative impact on their use of Amplify, its video-based marketing product. If true, this seems like a somewhat risky maneuver by Twitter, as it could ultimately cost it in ad dollars if the targeted media outlets feel they’re being harangued by the microblogging company.
With both Meerkat and Periscope growing their services through Twitter, and with both apps offering very similar features, it’s perfectly understandable that Twitter is keen to promote its recently acquired offering over Meerkat. Contacting users directly, if indeed that is what it’s doing, highlights just how determined the social media company is to push Periscope as the go-to livestreaming app, and suggests it continues to view Meerkat as a serious threat.
In an earlier move designed to make life difficult for Periscope’s rival, Twitter ended Meerkat access to its social graph, a step that prevented Meerkat users automatically linking their Twitter followers to their account, thereby slowing down the service’s ability to grow via the microblogging site.
Prior to Periscope’s launch, and just after Meerkat learned it no longer had access to the social graph, the startup’s CEO, Ben Rubin, said that Twitter’s action “shows how significant Meerkat has become.” However, with Twitter now apparently taking a more direct approach in trying to build Periscope’s user base, Rubin and his team appear to have their work cut out to keep Meerkat relevant.