The Meerkat app was largely famed for being the first true live streaming app and became an instant hit among many. Due to its originality, the app was immediately popular. Unfortunately, this all came to an abrupt halt with the release of competitor Periscope which was acquired pretty early on by Twitter for a respectable $100 million. Once Periscopes numbers started increasing and streaming was enabled from within Twitter’s app, Meerkat had little chance of survival, and the recent closure proves this.
Back on September 30th, Meerkat’s creator Life On Air announced via its co-founder, Ben Rubin, that Meerkat has officially been pulled from the App Store. In addition to this, the app’s Play Store listing is no longer available and both its Twitter account and website are no longer active. Now, although this may come as a bit of a shock to many, in a statement the company said that although it’s taken this long to shut Meerkat down, the company’s change in direction was actually decided within 6 months of Meerkat’s launch, so it was essentially only a question of time. For those wondering what caused the change in direction, Rubin said that broadcasting to a high number of people at the same time was too far away from the average user, which is why the company has turned all its efforts towards developing their new app, Houseparty.
As mentioned, not all is bad, though. The closure of Meerkat allows them to focus on developing Houseparty, an app that allows users to quickly join in on group video calls, meaning any user can start chatting via video with any of their contacts that happen to be online at that moment. Houseparty was launched without much interest or knowledge surrounding the app, largely due to the fact that Life On Air didn’t reveal they were behind the app until a later date, but this hasn’t stopped it from racking up a very respectable 1 million users so far. Now that the company is fully focused on Houseparty, it remains to be seen if Life On Air can recreate their Meerkat success with this new app.