Live Stream Your Event: Meerkat or Periscope?

April 22, 2015

5:00 pm

It is not often that you get to do a truly side-by-side comparison of two new tools, but we got the perfect opportunity to do just that with Meerkat and Periscope at the Philly Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference recently.

This story was submitted as a guest contribution by Tracey Welson-Rossman, the CMO of Chariot Solutions and founder of TechGirlz, and Gloria Bell, the Chief Digital Strategist at Bell Digital Strategies and Advisory Board Member of TechGirlz.

We used both apps at various times throughout the conference, but at the Day 2 Keynote, we did an actual side-by-side comparison of Periscope and Meerkat.

The reason we wanted to try live streaming at the conference is a no brainer; this has the potential to be a great marketing tool. The ability to reach more people with good content is really exciting when you run a lot of events like we do.

Here are the pros and cons of each with our “Bake-off” winner (and the reasons why) below.

Meerkat

Pros:

Easy to set up an account
Easy to give the stream a name / title
Ability to tweet comments in the stream
Can schedule a stream
Ability to save broadcast
Can target smaller, more direct audience because no auto link to Twitter

Cons:

Cannot zoom in or increase volume
Need a built-in audience to gain viewers
Lack of direct connection to tweet the stream makes it harder to gain audience
Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone
Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work
Hard to understand the metrics for viewership during the broadcast and post
Lack of documentation on how to use it
Really need a tripod for a good recording
No post-viewing metrics

Periscope

Pros:

Setting up the account was easy
Ability to save the broadcast
Connecting to and broadcasting via Twitter was easy
Ability to tweet comments and likes in the stream, but can’t easily add other Twitter names in the tweet
Easy to “title” – just like a tweet
Direct link to Twitter makes for a larger audience but also more possibility for spam comments

Cons:

Can’t switch between Twitter accounts
Can only have one account associated with the app
Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work
Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone
Lack of documentation on how to use it
Few metrics – post view metrics much easier to see on an iPad
Really need a tripod for a good recording

There are a lot of limitations with both apps and we are hopeful there are more features coming that will address the issues we outlined above. Both seem to be good, fairly easy-to-use tools for livestreaming, especially at events. For right now we give Periscope the edge due to its seamless integration with Twitter. This feature alone will make it an easier-to-use social marketing tool.

It is a slight edge, though. Even with the limitations, we see these apps as a great tool for events and smaller conferences with small budgets. The video and audio quality will not be great, but these apps will allow for broader distribution of events.

Check out our next experiment at Chariot Solutions’ talk on Angular JS on April 22nd.

 Image Credit: Splitshire

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Previously the Managing Editor at Tech.Co, Ann Diab has a background of launching and nurturing of startups and tech companies.

Empowering and educating entrepreneurs and startups to better productivity and culture is her passion. Growth Manager at WorkingOn to enable folks all over the world to enjoy work and improve communication. Follow me on Twitter.

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