Meerkat, the smartphone app that allows users to launch live streaming videos online was soaring high until Twitter punctured its bubble.
Meerkat is a live-streaming video service that automatically used tweet when the user started recording. Nevertheless, it used to piggyback on Twitter’s network. The user could start a video stream from Meerkat and the app would automatically tweet a link to it, allowing anyone to click it and watch from their laptop, phone or tablet.
However, on Friday, Twitter shed its load by restricting Meerkat’s access on its social graph. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that Meerkat had been cut off. “We are limiting their access to Twitter’s social graph, consistent with our internal policy,” the source said. “Their users will still be able to distribute videos on Twitter and log in with their Twitter credentials,” he added further.
Adding a comment on the episode, Ben Rubin, the Founder of Meerkat stated, “We knew Twitter would be upset at some point.” However, he added, “We didn’t know they were buying a company in this space.” His reference was to that of Twitter’s acquisition of Periscope, also a video sharing app.
Rejecting the speculations about Meerkat’s death, Rubin asserted that Twitter blocking access to their social graph doesn’t mean they blocked the main mission of what Meerkat does. He said that Meerkat used Twitter consciously to get a leg up: “The idea was to jump-start the community on top of Twitter, but the idea was never to build the social graph on top of Twitter.”
Also, putting forth a diplomatic statement, Rubin acknowledged Twitter’s help in gaining Meerkat fame and popularity. Nevertheless, he said that by imposing restrictions, Twitter escalated their decision of making something even better than the app.