Live Streaming App Meerkat Causing a Stir on Social Media

There’s a new app in town that has caused quite the buzz on social media. It’s similar to Snapchat or Vine and it lets users stream live video instantly from their smartphones. It’s called Meerkat and it has already gained a steady following of 300,000 active users, including celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Snoop Dogg.

The app works along with Twitter, lettings users to broadcast whatever they want, live, to their followers. Anyone watching can follow along and can comment on the videos posted. What’s even better is that it is super simple to use. There are two options on the app: start a stream or schedule one for later.

Once you start a stream and broadcast, all of your followers are alerted by a tweet.

The company has already started strong with a large audience, but the question that remains is how long will this sensation last?

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 6.21.56 PM

Photo Courtesy: Meerkat

At a recent South By South West festival in Texas, Meerkat apparently became the most-talked-about app of the conference. In fact, it’s called “Meerkating” when you start a new stream.

This app would definitely be valuable to citizen journalists, but with so many other similar options available, it will be interesting to see if Meerkat can set itself apart and highlight a unique feature that it offers.

The app may be new, but its already been caught up in some controversy. Meerkat was apparently hacked after hijackers got a hold of the live streams and replaced them with any kind of recorded video that they wanted. The flaw apparently had something to do with Meerkat’s code.

Each broadcast stream has a unique ID. But once it’s found, it can be substituted for another, even though the users’ credentials remain secure.

Meerkat says it has fixed this particular flaw and that this will no longer be an issue. But with a service so new, this calls into question whether there will be more security flaws in the future.

With this type of technology being so new, I would try it out, but approach it with caution. So what do you guys think? Would you use Meerkat as a reliable social networking app? Or is this just a new service that is trying to create an old idea? Share your thoughts!

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