Meerkat

Tweet live video in one click

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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
Hi guys!

Co-founder of Air here. I was hoping to get some feedback on this new thing we’ve been working on called Meerkat. --Meerkat's mission is to get live streams to travel at the speed of tweets, so it's riding the fastest news distributor network out there, Twitter.

Recently, we've been thinking about the wide range of news events and conversations happening around the world. Whether it’s civil rights issues being protested in Ferguson or musicians interrupting each other at an awards show, we kept wondering if we could get access to these moments in an easier way.

We wanted to give you the option to press one button and stream live video over Twitter in the most frictionless way possible. Seamlessly moving the conversation that happens on the live stream to Twitter and vice vera.

It's a "Hands off" live streaming layer on top of Twitter, so all connections are made automatically for you on the go. You don't need to do anything, there is no search/profiles/feed etc. As soon as you want to live stream something all your followers on Twitter will be notified that you're going live and can start watching you and what you're seeing.

Lastly, you can also schedule upcoming streams in the next 24 hours.

Think about it as a live video button for Twitter :)

Looking forward hearing from you all!
Ask me anything!
Doug van Spronsen — Partner, Versett
@benrbn I really like the onboarding and simplicity of the app. I can see it being an effective anti-FOMO tool for friends (and especially fans)

Do you see the product evolving to a point where users would have the ability to charge a small fee to access the stream?
Brian Clark — Co Founder, HDP Health
@benrbn Could use @linktexting linktexting.com!
Ced — Founder at Schooold
@benrbn took me a couple of days to check this out...but this is dope. Slick access and a great shared experience. How are you addressing "questionable" or offensive content?
Guy Avigdor — Founder & COO, Klear
@benrbn fantastic stuff Ben. Goid luck.
Pete — Front-end engineer
I was working on the same exact app... kinda depressed right now. :'(
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@httpete PETE! What makes you think you are not capable of doing something better/different? It would be a very sad world if people just give up on ideas. I can tell you that live video space is still broken in terms of distribution mechanism, and that obviously Meerkat is not perfect. there's a very good chance that anyone in the world would come up with a better product / perspective. Please, go back to code. that's how we all build better things together, even when we work separately. --we learn from eachother.
Eddie DaRoza — Video Producer - Social Media Marketing
@httpete @benrbn Awesome response. Keep on truckin Pete!
Pete — Front-end engineer
Thanks for you answer :) I do not plan on giving up the development... but the concept is not similar, it is literally the exact same concept (mechanism around twitter etc...)
Well, I am going to fight on UX/UI though ;) see you
Jonathan Frankel — Founder & CEO, Nucleus
@httpete @benrbn Ben, what an incredibly generous and encouraging thing to say. Whether or nor meerkat succeeds (and it seems to be going really well!), you have already succeeded at life with an attitude like that. Thank you for brightening my day.
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@httpete If you don't plan to give up you are already a winner.
Martin Bavio — Full Stack Designer
@benrbn I just came here to say this: CLAP CLAP CLAP
Ross@GoLocalApps — GoLocalApps
@httpete @benrbn Too often in the tech market people assume there will only end up one major player for any given idea. Probably the one thing that annoys me the most.

There can be many players in the same area. Even for the exact same product.
Zac Coffman — Wagering Support @ 123bet.com
@httpete As everyone else has said, don't give up! As @mijustin mentions in Episode 9 of the Build & Launch podcast, just because a competitor has the same idea, there will be something different that differentiates yours from theirs.
Nicholas Sheriff — Founder, Quest
@httpete @benrbn I love everything about this and I mean absolutly freakin everything! Going to be a meerkat user for sure love the concept. Keep up the stellar work Ben!
Murat Karademir — nomad,istanbul
@httpete @benrbn i took screenshot of this response and will post it our startup community door (@istanbul).
Dayo Balogun — Founder/CEO @TrackBeat
@benrbn @httpete Though it's 8 month since Ben wrote the above comment but I just had to post a reply commending him on his encouragement and ideal to life. Whereby we can all make a contribution to the world, even if you're a competitor or not. He come across like an amazing human being. Good luck and keep encouraging. :)
Matt Navarra — Social Media Director for @TheNextWeb
Niv Dror — Writer/Social Editor @ProductHunt
@mattnavarra I enjoyed your broadcast of the Eclipse :)
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
I just streamed my first meerkat (is that what we're calling it). Unlike most livestreaming sites like Twitch, Livestream, or the recently released betaworks app, Upclose (cc @matthartman), Meerkat videos can't be rewatched (afaik). This might seem counterintuitive because it heavily reduces the amount of content viewers can consume but it the ephemerality makes each livestream a little more special, knowing it can't be seen ever again. They're playing on FOMO.

@benrbn we've seen several mobile-first livestream apps in the past. Why will this one work?
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@matthartman @rrhoover thanks man.
1// Streams are for you to decide what to do with them post streaming. we don't save them. but in the end of the stream *you can choose to keep them on you phone library*.
2// Meerkat is heavily integrated with twitter, every stream is a twitter thread. comments = replies, restreams = retweets, likes = favorites. after ferguson we thought that we could do a better job in distributing live video by putting it completely on top of twitter + mobile.
3// There is no anonymous viewership, you must have twitter to watch, even on web. everyone (on mobile) can press the watcher's icon and see who they are. --->That, and mandatory twitter login, make both sides (watchers & broadcasters) committed to a better quality of content.
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@matthartman @benrbn @rrhoover i agree with Ryan. Rewatch is important. Your twitter friends may not be "on" as you broadcast
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@matthartman @rrhoover @ourielohayon Thanks Ouriel. -- we think that live video is broken in terms of distribution, so we started with that and the live experience attached to it. For us live video carries many unexplored emotions; drama, anticipation, unpredictability. We choose to focus, mainly for the users sake, on that experience only. and for the broadcasters - they can always keep the video on thier phone once their stream is over. there are a lot of great VOD/"rewatch" platforms that you can upload the video to later. For starts, it made more sense for us to want you to come for one reason. not two :)
Ross@GoLocalApps — GoLocalApps
@matthartman @benrbn @rrhoover I can see this being a very interesting point to it. art that you can only experience at the moment has a different feel to it than something you can rewatch, re-read or re-experience. And while that may not be the primary use here, I bet it'll be used that way soon.

(edit - didn't see that you can save it. That changes my above point.)
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@matthartman @rrhoover @golocalapps haha thanks! the big green button you have once you end your stream (only you can save your own streams)
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@matthartman @rrhoover @benrbn sure. but i don t think this is "good enough". there is value in rewatch...just see Twitch/Justin and all.. you ll have to have it at some point. maybe not just now (not mentioning the value of SEO...)

One comment though. i tested your app and i hated to discover that pressing "stream" was sending a message to my twitter followers. i think you could improve the claritity. I expected a record button to trigger the stream, not just the buttom from home which looks more like accessing a subsection
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@ourielohayon This is the first screen every user sees when they enter: http://imgur.com/BdtC9eB did you not get it? you actually cannot do anything before seeing it and pressing "ok".
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@benrbn i saw it and did not pay attention. but frankly it s not a great UX. either make it clear once you press the STREAM button or transform this button in a RECORD button. Finally bad surprise also: every chat items is broadcasted to twitter. i don t want that. please allow me to remove this or toggle off
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@ourielohayon i'm sorry that this is how you feel man. it's a v1 product that tries to make sure that when you go live every relevant person would know about it and able to watch. I understand you completely and your feedback is noted. there's nothing for me to justify here, b/c obviously you feel bad about it, but i can promise you that the intentions are good: chatting is replying to the tweet's thread. every stream is a thread. -that's how we make sure relevant people know about your stream. For example: That's how you helped @nirkouris's stream to travel to your mutual followers and that's how other people will contribute yours. --And we *will* iterate base on people's feedback.
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@nirkouris @benrbn i think that s fine. of course it s a v1. but remember it s always delicate when you publish on behalf of someone. specially at this scale. the inbound notifications are fine. no problem. but outbound should be more controlled. i am sure you ll get it done right. the beginning is promising and i do think it s a good concept. keep up
Ana Medina — engineer, designer, geek, cs dropout
This is actually really cool! Just went through the hashtag on twitter and watched a couple of live streams for a bit, a very nice break from work. Found it neat that it lets the streamer know who is watching.
Its nice to see live streams becoming more famous with services like these
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@ana_m_medina Thanks Ana. Saw your delay feedback. >> We are committed to high quality, we don't want disconnections and we want to have amazing quality. we started with a 10sec buffer which we believe is crucial in order to deliver good smooth experience to thousands of watchers. -for example, the app actually handles incoming calls or even moves to audio if you are in a low connectivity zone.
Greg Barbosa — Founder, Prayer Hands Apparel
Oh wow. @benrbn, your team truly has an amazing product on it's hands. I definitely see the potential for this and can't wait to see others using it more often.

There is a very specific set of users that I see falling in love with this app: One Direction fans (really any large following). Lately I've noticed that a lot of these fans will track where the artist is staying at (hotels and restaurants and the like). They will tweet out to their following photos and videos, but most importantly: live streams.

The tweeters with large followings will tweet and share a URL over and over again, and usually use whatever app of choice. These streams blow up and get shared around like crazy. The problem comes in when the conversation that starts and relies on Twitter, is now directly moved OFF of Twitter. An entire group of people that aren't watching the live stream, are now missing out on the ongoing conversation.

The direct link to Twitter that Meerkat provides is what I've always imagined these other products should do. Keep the conversation where it started.

Great job to you and your team!
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@gregbarbosa Thank you so much man! The idea came up when @jrjohnsonpr went live on our previous product from a Gaga show and his tweet was picked up by super-fans on twitter reaching more than 1000 watchers in few minutes. --basically you nailed the "why" we did it :)
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
Hi guys. since its the weekend, I thought i'll post an upcoming stream to a show I'm going later tonight in TLV >> mrk.tv/185uU1A
Eric Willis — Mod @Product Hunt/ Founder @Chatmunk
Ok. This seems really cool!
Ⓜatt hartman — seed investments, betaworks
@rrhoover I think that the decision not to have re-watch (at least not by default) is really interesting. One of the reasons snapchat worked without filters at first is that people knew they could look silly or bad and that it wouldn't be saved on the internet for all time. I'm paraphrasing @bencera_ here a bit, but ephemerality as a design pattern isn't just for the purpose of secrecy -- it reduces friction to sharing because there's a lower cognitive effort in deciding whether or not to share. (i.e., there's a lower cost to sharing something you end up being embarrassed about since it will disappear).

Small design decisions can end up having big affects on how social networks are used I'm interested to see how use of Meerkat evolves.
Molly Matthieson — Digital, WME
Great to see what you're up to, Ben! I love the simplicity of Meerkat. Lots to improve on in the live streaming world.
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@mlymat hi molly! Thank you :)
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
@daniellemorrill just published I am Loving Meerkat!. I shared some follow-up thoughts about it here.
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
Meerkat, now available on Android (view only right now, though).
Hillel Fuld — CMO @ZCastApp, Startup Advisor, Blogger
Sounds interesting.
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@hilzfuld thanks Hillel i'm actually watching you now :)
Will Dennis — Founder, Hollerback
super simple product, lot of use cases, great distribution via twitter. that's a good formula. beliebers live streaming a concert may break the internet. congrats @benrbn!
Eddie DaRoza — Video Producer - Social Media Marketing
Love this idea. I'm going to test it out at the Venice skatepark today
Drew Meyers — Co-Founder, Horizon
Has anyone used this for breaking news yet?

I wrote a piece in 2013 about p2p livestreaming / news: http://www.geekwire.com/2013/wav...
Adam — Partner Growth @BranchMetrics
@drewmeyers that's where I see this getting very interesting. Great job, guys. You've got something big here.
Spencer Schoeben — College dropout working on something new
I am an early and active Product Hunt user, and I can honestly say that this is the best thing I have discovered on here! Bravo.
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
promising. live dimension is exactly what twitter is about. Isn't it something Twitter could add with Vine though? imagine a "stream" instead of record? [although i do realize vine is for short format]
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@ourielohayon it's a fair assessment. they already introduced a toggle which you can switch to get push notification every time someone you follow posts a Vine. However seems too much of a noise for the users to incorporate elegantly in a mature, existing product.
Drew Meyers — Co-Founder, Horizon
@ourielohayon @benrbn Twitter can of course do this. But it will be years before they will be known for anything other than short text updates.
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@benrbn @drewmeyers ever heard of Vine?
Drew Meyers — Co-Founder, Horizon
@benrbn @ourielohayon yes. but has the average person?
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@benrbn @drewmeyers vine is top 25 most downloaded app in the USA for the past 18 months. so i guess a few "average' persons did
Drew Meyers — Co-Founder, Horizon
@benrbn @ourielohayon i actually really like the idea of meerkat. i don't use vine personally, but I know they aren't known for live streaming.

do you think vine will re-brand / re-position and beat meerkat to the live streaming opportunity?
Ouriel Ohayon — appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@benrbn @drewmeyers they acquired periscope. expect something
Matt Hamlin — Student, Building Dollar (@usedollar)
Are there any plans for an android app for Meerkat?
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@immatthamlin yes. we are thinking on a watching only android client for the first step!
Jeff Soo — Product Designer, Oculus
Relatively seamless first broadcast! Awesome that it falls back to audio-only if connection is bad, but might be nice if it mentions whether the broadcaster or viewer is the one who needs a boost in connection. Good luck @benrbn!
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@jeffsoo Thanks for noticing!!! & for the feedback!
Damon Clinkscales — Cultivator
Hello @benrbn! Long time, no see. Loving playing with the product today. I think the comments as tweets should be optional. Also, I think the home screen should be a list of live streams from friends, as most users are more likely to consume than broadcast. But, it should be a tap or two to go live still, of course.
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@damon always great to get feedback from you, thank you. --the issue with the "home screen" is a bug. it should auto refresh. just pull down and it will load. fix soon!
Daniel Nordh — Founder, Curator & Co Ltd
Tried it and it looks really interesting, a few thoughts;

- Realised I got signed up to follow you on Twitter, not so cool
- Like others have said, if there is nobody that I follow currently streaming perhaps list other current streams?
- The home screen is a bit confusing

Best of luck, crazy virality!
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Ben Rubin — Co-founder, Meerkat
@danielnordh 1/ auto follow + the push = not cool. and we did a huge mistake there. we didn't even know that's possible. -- however we should be more clear about the fact that we want you to follow our handle. 2/ not at the moment. we believe that space is only noise if you can see. 3/ yes! what was confusing? please elaborate would love to hear!

Thank you so much! :)
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