To Meerkat Or To Periscope? THAT Is The Question.

If Hamlet were around today, surely he’d be asking that question (taking a break from existentialism would probably be good for his health, after all).

As for the rest of us, the question—Meerkat or Periscope—is there and it’s a very interesting one, indeed.

If you’re in real estate, by the way (and you don’t have to be to use these applications for fun, for business, or whatever), you should pay attention and think about the ways you might be able to use their power for the good of your business.

But let’s back up a few steps. If you’ve not heard of either of these apps just yet, here’s the rundown:

First, there was Meerkat.

Meerkat Screen Shots

Meerkat, the sweetheart of SXSW 2015, is a live-streaming video app that allows you to share—in real time—what you’re doing, seeing, eating, or whatever right there, right then via Twitter. Like Twitter, when it was introduced back in 2007, Meerkat is the thing everybody is talking about.

Its developers tout its success as a product of people’s hunger for “authenticity.” They say that these videos give people windows into “the real you.” Now, whether THAT much is true remains to be seen (in spite of everyone’s goings-on about being authentic, we all know that authenticity is what we make it seem. Ahem.) Regardless of the reasons people are flocking to this little app, they’re doing it in droves.

Meerkat isn’t polished, it isn’t pretty, and the UI is more than a little clunky. All that aside, people are still using it and it’s developing a nice community. There’s something to be said for being first.

Then, there’s Periscope.

Periscope Screen Shots

Periscope, just like Meerkat, is a live-streaming video app that shares directly to Twitter. The difference here is that this app is actually owned by Twitter. It’s got a lot more money behind it, and it’s got a whole lot of slick that Meerkat doesn’t.

Periscope’s interface is just plain better–I’ll just come right out and say it. Unlike Meerkat, whose videos go away after they’re done being streamed, Periscope’s videos can be saved for later. You can also send videos privately, which could be cool if you wanted to be selective about the people with whom you’re sharing.

Another thing that Periscope does is thread the comments and chat that go along with each video. Meerkat allows you to comment, too, but its comments get shared, one by one, to Twitter and without any real—OK, any—context, which kinda has us asking, “Why?” The threading of comments could be dead useful if you were doing a Twitter chat or some other Q&A type of thing. There are some pretty interesting possibilities there.

If you’re a real estate professional, these live-streaming applications could be of some real use to you. Don’t think so? 

What about, say, you have a client who lives out of town. You could go see a house they’re interested in and show it to them in real time—and chat about it with them—without them ever having to be there. 

Or? Say you’ve got a spiffy new listing! What a cool way to do an open house. Amirite? Doing a live stream, virtual open house for other agents could be pretty cool.

Whether you’re in real estate or not, and whether you’re thinking about these apps or not, or whether you’d much rather find an app that will just send you bacon when you want it (why haven’t they made that yet, by the way?), Meerkat & Periscope (and the other live-streaming apps that are sure to come on their heels) are interesting things to think about.

Which app will win? First or better? It’s hard to say, but it appears that, at least for now, live-streaming is here to stay!

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