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An Analysis of Periscope Vs. Meerkat – Which Will Come Out On Top?


There are two relatively new apps to hit the market...and the automotive industry is crazy if it doesn't start taking advantage of them to connect with buyers in the market.  But what's the difference...and which one comes out on top?  Read on.

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a presentation to a huge group of people ranging in age from 40 to 75 about how millennials have fueled the massive expansion of technology and how we use it.  I asked this group (the topic was politics) why candidates spend so much money on traditional advertising? 

There was silence in the room after I asked how many people in the room actually watch “live” television.

Here we are in an age where we can watch what we want to watch WHEN we want to watch it. 

We’ve shunned live television, instead embracing DVR’s and streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Come on - haven't we seen how the automotive industry has been forced to adjust as a result?

Yet what are the hottest apps in the market right now?

Two new toys that allow us the opportunity to capture live streaming.

Go figure.

Periscope and Meerkat have captured attention over the past couple of months, and for good reason.  They give you a live eye behind the scenes of the lives of others.  They give a VIP pass to events across the globe happening RIGHT NOW.  And they take the concept of Facetime to an entirely new level.

From a business perspective, both have countless opportunities for the creative and tech savvy marketers.  But which should you choose?  Let’s explore some of the functionality of each.

The Stream

Comparing apples to apples (streaming from both in the same wifi or network conditions, they are on point with one another.  The video quality is decent.  Bonus points to Periscope though, which seems to smooth out network choppiness in videos that are saved for replaying later.

Bonus points here to Meerkat, which allows you to watch or film in either landscape or portrait. 

Periscope is limited to portrait view for right now.


It doesn’t get much more simple and straightforward than Meerkat.  Open the app on your phone, hit Stream, and you’re live.  Your Twitter followers get an alert that you’re on the area.  When you’re done…hit stop. 

Periscope offers some stronger functionality for the more advanced marketers.  You can tweet out links to the live stream in advance of it.  You can also create private broadcasts, for those of you who are into that sort of thing (privacy, I mean).

With Meerkat, when you stop recording, the stream disappears.  With Periscope, your stream is automatically saved for 24 hours.  That means anyone who clicks on the Twitter link after can see what you broadcast. 

Bonus – we found that with the iPhone, both services let us save the video we shot.


Periscope and Meerkat are very similar in terms of the engagement that they offer.  You can leave comments on either that the broadcaster can see in real time, and you can retweet or like streams from either app. 

With that being said, it’s easier with Meerkat.  The liking, commenting and retweeting are right on the same screen as the stream.  It’s also easier to follow people with Meerkat now that you have the ability to do it from right within the live stream. 

Speaking of discovering people, both of the apps let you scope out random videos being broadcast live, which helps you find cool new people and businesses to follow.  When you open up Periscope, you get three featured videos along with a couple of other dozen live streams you can check out. 

Underneath are recent broadcasts that you might have missed.  When it comes to Meerkat, you get nine video streams when you open the app.  No recent broadcasts, obviously.  Bust.

Heads Up

Both of the apps let you know when someone that you follow has started a live broadcast.  Bonus points to Meerkat, which lets you know when someone you follow on Twitter has signed up for the app.  It makes them easier to find and follow.

When it comes to notifications, only Periscope offers decent modifications.  You can turn off notifications for when someone is following you and you can also “mute” people you follow for three hours (for people who are blowing up your feed with their live streams).


Periscope obviously enjoys the edge of being owned by Twitter…and allowing people to watch streams if they’re no longer live.  But we preferred some of the functionality of Meerkat.  So who is the winner?


Ladies and gentlemen, marketing directors and business owners, it’s time to play.

Are you using them in your dealerships?  Virtual test drives?  Vehicle walkaround demos?  How are YOU using these apps to sell more cars?




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