From Squirrel! to Meerkat! One App That Grabbed Our Attention


By: Jesse Echeverría, Community Manager, @jesseechev

Some of the biggest and greatest tech geniuses, digital revolutionaries, and app-pumping machines unite in the Lone Star State’s oasis of a capital, Austin, Texas, for a few days every year. SXSW, originally created to help give new musical acts exposure, has evolved tremendously in the last five years. The interactive portion, which has one of the most coveted passes in the advertising world, has officially come to an end.

Now, whether you actually attended SXSWi, streamed into different talks using shiny, new Meerkat, or just followed event hashtags via Twitter, you can see that this year was no fail. We all amped up our FOMOness and were lured in.

Tons of tech businesses and start-ups embrace this time to test and experiment, and no pre-SXSWi launch was better than Meerkat’s. This live-streaming video app is still just a baby, but days before SXSWi everyone from Gary Vaynerchuk to brands like AT&T and broadcaster PBS joined the Meerkaverse. Of course I had to join, experiment and experience what the app had to offer, broadcasting my own hectic SXSWi journey. The app, surpassing 100,000 users over the weekend, allows users to broadcast live to their Twitter followers. And just as the conference began, Twitter started limiting Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social data. Other problems came with usage. If you are not on an unlimited data plan, beware! The app comes with extreme data-usage, the inability to live-post on other social networks while broadcasting, and those “|LIVE NOW| #meerkat” tweets that are clogging people’s Twitter timelines!



Let’s hope this SXSWi superstar attains long-term success and faces a different future than Foursquare.

The shared love for new ideas and innovation is what brings all together. Whether it’s a new live-streaming app or self-driving cars that grabs our fickle attention, SXSWi gets the tech conversation going.