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Twitter pressures celebs to use Periscope over Meerkat

by Jacob Kleinman | April 13, 2015April 13, 2015 7:00 pm PDT


Twitter has reportedly been doing everything in its power to crush Meerkat and boost its own live streaming app, Periscope. That includes hounding celebrities and media companies that still use the competing service, and even applying pressure when possible.

According to TechCrunch, which detailed Twitter’s secret plans, the company is apparently threatening to cut off Meerkat’s access to Amplify, a service it offers to big brands like the NFL. Amplify makes it easier to build promoted tweets with built-in video and spread them on the social network. Meanwhile, the company is also going after celebrities, contacting them directly if they use Meerkat instead of Periscope.

“Twitter hounds every celebrity after they try Meerkat. Almost to the point of stalking,” one anonymous insider revealed to TechCrunch. Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin told the Silicon Valley blog that his team hasn’t reached out directly to any celebrities. “Since Meerkat launched on February 27, the team has actively approached zero people asking to use our product. All we do is work with inbound,” he said.

Since launching last month, Periscope quickly overtook Meerkat as the go-to live streaming app, perhaps due to Twitter’s early work to cut off Meerkat’s access to its social graph. With Twitter pushing the new service so aggressively, there may not be much room for any serious competition, though it’s probably still too soon to count Meerkat out entirely.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...