Live-Streaming App Meerkat, Star of SXSW 2015, Pulled From App Store

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Meerkat, the darling of SXSW way back in 2015, is officially roadkill. The live-streaming app that for a minute was the hottest name in mobile -- until Twitter-owned Periscope swooped in and stole its thunder -- has been pulled from Apple's App Store.

The obit notice was posted to Twitter by Ben Rubin, the co-founder of Life On Air, the company behind Meerkat. While calling the moment "bitter sweet," Rubin signaled the company was moving on with a new app called Houseparty, a group video chat app.

The Meerkat website has been redirected to Houseparty, and the app’s Twitter account is now private. While the move seems sudden, Rubin told TechCrunch that the company decided Meerkat wasn’t working a mere six months after launching it. “The category of broadcast (one-to-many) wasn’t breaking as a daily habit…it’s too far away from the everyday user,” he said.

Houseparty, which lets you instantly see friends who are in the app at the same time, is a “better manifestation” of its vision to “connect people in the most human way possible.” According to The Verge, the app has attracted roughly one million users purely via word of mouth.

Meerkat’s biggest play in the music space came in early April 2015 when it premiered Madonna’s “Ghosttown” video, albeit with a few glitches.


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