March 31st, 2015
Somehow Meerkat has died just two weeks after it took over the world. I know, it’s amazing, right?
About three days after it received a lavish new funding round, Meerkat died an ugly and embarrassing death. . . .
The mobile streaming app that had whipped U.S. tech journalists into a frenzy announced $14 million in new funding on Thursday. Money poured in from Jared Leto, Greylock Partners and other illustrious sources. On the same day, Twitter launched its rival streaming app called Periscope. Apparently, investors didn’t stop to ponder why Meerkat people rushed to cash in so aggressively only a month after the app had debuted. . . .
By Sunday night, the consumer reaction to the Periscope-Meerkat rivalry was brutally lopsided. Twitter’s Periscope app had become a smash hit, breaking into the U.S. iPhone top-30 chart by Friday night. This is a rare feat for a social media app, and it demonstrated that Periscope had immediate and broad consumer appeal.
In stunning contrast, Meerkat crumpled like a wet napkin as soon as Twitter’s rival app debuted. By Sunday at 7:00 p.m., Meerkat had collapsed to No. 523 on the U.S. iPhone download chart.
The ugly truth that U.S. tech media has declined to mention even in passing is that Meerkat had never been a hit to begin with. All those breathless media reports about “the hot new app” and “the break-out app” were deeply misleading at best — and cynical legerdemain at worst.
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