Meerkat is dead. The mobile app that ignited a live-steaming revolution when itmade its debut at South by Southwest 2015 was removed from the iOS and Android app stores Friday.
Its funeral has been long awaited as the app battled for attention withTwitter's Periscope and Facebook Live. Meerkat founder and CEO Ben Rubinannounced a pivot for his company back in March and released his latest project, Houseparty, an app for group video calls, last week.
SEE ALSO: Teen-friendly app Houseparty comes from an unlikely developer
But the community that Meerkat helped build is alive and well. Mashable asked 14 of the earliest users and some of the most-followed app personalities why they used Meerkat and how it influenced their lives. They told us in their own words: Tiffany Diamond
Meerkat was an amazing platform for connecting with people around the world. It was the first time that a social network felt real in creating friendships and getting to know people.
There's friends I made through Meerkat that I still have today. Meerkat was a close knit community that supported each other. I'm blessed to have amassed over 100,000 followers on the platform, which helped in getting me comfortable in front of the camera, which led to me launching my own YouTube channel.
When Meerkat was at it's peak it was definitely the most fun social media experience I ever had. From celebrating birthdays and engagements to even watching people sky dive. Meerkat invited me into people's lives. Sad that it's over, but the friendships remain!
@tiffy4u #tupac #news w/ #Chef Francisco #meerkat #alleyezonme pic.twitter.com/pDwnrjrSXl
— Herbie (@herbiemerrin) December 30, 2015 Geoff Golberg
digital marketing consultant
Meerkat ushered in a new era of livestreaming. Their focus on equipping users with tools and features to foster a two-way, participatory environment was second to none. With far fewer resources than Periscope/FB Live, they managed to ship meaningful updates to their product at an alarming rate.
Meerkat’s early focus on community (and that early community was incredibly unique!) was their special sauce. They were fortunate to have an exceptional community manager, Niv Dror (currently at Product Hunt), on their team. Unfortunately, after Niv’s departure, Meerkat lost their community focus and instead opted to chase Hollywood/celebrities. That, ultimately, is what led to their demise.
Few of my most memorable Meerkat streams pic.twitter.com/tWGFuBfMr4
— geoff golberg (@geoffgolberg) March 5, 2016
actress and social media influencer
When asked me to describe what it was I loved about Meerkat, so many streams, events, and meet ups came to mind. One particular stream that stuck out was the time I visited the Meerkat HQ and got lost in the streets of San Francisco. Fortunately, I was streaming and walking, albeit in circles, and my viewers came to the rescue. They went over to Dave Grossblatt's stream, another frequent Meerkater who specialized in showing viewers around SF, and told him where I was. That day turned into such an adventure! I started my morning on a mission to get coffee, got lost, met Dave (and got coffee), and then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with my new friend while he gave me a tour of San Francisco's charms.
That stream is the perfect representation for why I love Meerkat so much and will forever be grateful for what the app gave me. For me it was always about these amazing interactions I was having with viewers from all around the world. They could tune into whatever escapades I was up to and tell me stories of their own, give recommendations, or just tell me they liked my smile which made my day! So for my friends at Meerkat, thank you guys for what you created. It changed my life in such an amazing way and there will always be a part of me that's still the #MeerkatQueen
Image: courtesy of victoria fratz Steve Isaacs
managing creative director in digital at bpg advertising
From the first moment of my first stream, I was hooked. The ease and simplicity of the interface, the cute animated Meerkat when it was trying to connect, everything just felt right. I started streaming during SXSW, and to everyone there it seemed like something truly transformative was taking place. The idea of an interactive window into someone else's world was intoxicating.
Niv, who watched over the Meerkat community, made the whole thing feel like a family. Those months were, without question, the best time I’ve ever had on the Internet with any social network, app, community or product. I felt that it was inevitable that Meerkat was going to take over the world. The wide open feeling of broadcasting with random folks anywhere in the world and finding some kind of connection, I truly feel is the best of what the Internet is capable of achieving, and to this day I don’t think anyone has done it quite as well as Meerkat did.
:camera: @steveisaacs is now live on http://t.co/qOGQOiNch6 #meerkat pic.twitter.com/WrPo0X7lLT
— Darlene Navarre (@Darlene_Navarre) September 19, 2015 Ryan Bell
founder of Summit.Live and creative strategist
Meerkat began beautifully at SXSW and helped start a large movement in disruptive media that we’re still catching up to. We look at Facebook and Periscope now and see them just beginning to do some of the things that Meerkat did a year ago. Saying farewell to Meerkat is strange because it may have died from moving too fast.
Goodbye to something amazing that was a catalyst and an amplifier. As the space grows and matures I often feel as though the innovations that Meerkat seemed to aim towards would have been welcome now. It was truly ahead of it’s time. Cathy Hackl
CEO of Cathy Hackl Consulting
Meerkat started the live video revolution. It was the first time I felt I could experience SXSW in real time without being there and made me excited for the future of video. As one of the first people in the PR & social media community to use Meerkat, I saw it not only as a fun app, but a tool crafted for storytelling in an authentic, immediate and raw way. Thank you Meerkat for starting it all. Suzanne Nguyen
Meerkat day's may be over, but the impact it had on me still lingers on. Because the platform was my training ground to be where I am today. Thank you and may you RIP Meerkat.