SXSW Day 1: Meerkat Ushers in a New Age of Citizen and Brand Journalism

Meerkat is the app that is on everybody’s minds right now. People were actually Meerkatting the pre-SXSW party we attended last evening.

It allows for true citizen journalism by letting an individual broadcast any event live to his or her Twitter followers. I was able to watch a live video of tonight’s protests in Ferguson over my phone with commentary from the broadcaster.

The only downside is that you must watch the live stream. The video is not recorded, so if you miss it, you missed it.

Image Courtesy:  David Richeson

Image Courtesy: David Richeson

How would this work for brands?

Brands can easily create programming and broadcast their exclusive content to their Twitter followers. Of course, this is great incentive for people to follow the brand on Twitter, which gives you many more opportunities to engage.

The influencers of brands can also quickly and easily broadcast live to their followers, with real-time conversation embedded in the broadcast.

I predict quick penetration of this easy-to-use app, especially since it leverages your current Twitter following (unlike Snapchat, where you need to build your follower base). Brands can certainly earn some first-mover points by broadcasting using Meerkat in the near future.

I would suggest programming an event, promoting the broadcast time of the event for a few days on your other social channels, then broadcasting at that time.