The live-streaming video app Meerkat has released what it’s calling its “biggest addition since launching.”
Dubbed Cameo, the app’s new feature lets viewers take over a broadcaster’s live-stream. But viewers can’t just take over any live-stream of their choosing — the broadcaster has to invite them by tapping on their profiles as they watch.
After the viewer accepts the invitation, the live-stream then switches over to focus on him or her. Both the viewer and the broadcaster have the ability to end the “cameo appearance” whenever they choose (within the span of a minute), at which point the stream goes back to the original broadcaster.
The idea is to make the app even more social by letting users share each other’s streams. Meerkat’s blog post on the subjects says that this should also attract more eyeballs to broadcasters’ streams via cross-promotion. It also suggests that because friends of the person making the Cameo appearance may end up watching a stream of somebody they normally wouldn’t have tuned into, the app will become more interactive.
Meerkat has been touting that it can connect to Facebook since May. Now, automatic updates will tell users when their Facebook friends join Meerkat and begin streaming, or when certain pages they follow (brands, companies, and publishers) join the app. The app is also testing the beta version of a new library feature that allows users to save their streams and share them with the public or, if they choose, keep them private.
Maybe things didn’t quite work out with Twitter, but making more connections to Facebook should help Meerkat maintain its social relevance.