Meerkat Streams Nearly Double Despite Twitter Choke as SXSW Kicks Off

Usage increases on the buzzy live streaming app after micro-blogging company limits access to its social graph

Last Updated: March 14, 2015 @ 12:50 PM

A tech war between Twitter and Meerkat has actually resulted in nearly doubling of streams for the buzzy new live streaming app, according to a Meerkat co-owner.

“Whoa this morning actually started with almost double the streams as yesterday,” Meerkat co-owner Ben Rubin tweeted on Saturday.

The increase in usage occurred despite (or possibly because of) Friday’s decision by Twitter to begin choking off Meerkat’s exposure to its social graph just as Austin festival South by Southwest kicked off.

“We are limiting their access to Twitter’s social graph, consistent with our internal policy,” a spokesperson told Buzzfeed. “Their users will still be able to distribute videos on Twitter and log in with their Twitter credentials.”

Meerkat uses Twitter to login and identify a user’s followers who also have its live streaming app. When a user begins recording, their followers are alerted on Twitter that the video has started and provides a link to it. It also alerts followers who log in to the app that the video has been started. But, Twitter has now shut the secondary notifications down, which helps Meerkat keep users on its app.

Many believed the move would handicap Meerkat’s meteoric growth, so why the increased usage? The news of Twitter’s decision may not only have caused users to increase their live streaming in protest but also caused others to get the app after becoming curious as to what all the fuss is about.

The timing of Twitter’s decision — at the kickoff of SXSW — has many people calling foul. Twitter officially announced on Friday it acquired its own live streaming app called Periscope (for a reported $100 million). No launch date has been announced, but the move comes two weeks after Meerkat made its splashy debut on social media.

Stars Jared Leto, Ashton Kutcher and companies CNBC, Mashable and Red Bull are just some of the high profile Meerkat users.