Meerkat and Periscope debuted on the social network scene about two months ago to much fanfare, but now that the dust has had time to settle, it's worth looking at exactly how popular these apps are. Now that the novelty has worn off, are people actually using them? For what reasons? Horizon Media's WHY Group polled consumers to see why they use the apps and to what end. Unsurprisingly, they found that the most engaged demographic is the 18-34 sector, and that its cost (free) and immediacy (live) are among what makes it most popular. Interestingly, many still have legitimate concerns about usage of the apps, but none of the concerns raised in this poll have to do with legality. And finally, across all age demographics, the poll found that awareness of the apps' presences are vastly low compared to Vine, Snpacht, and Instagram.
Does all of this indicate that Meerkat and Periscope haven't achieved full market penetration? Perhaps, but recall Snapchat's rise to fame, and you might see a similar adoption curve, with a more integrated adoption happening once early users have figured out modes of use. What's been most interesting about the last two months is watching users experiment with the apps: I've seen everything from the B2B live-chats to improv comedy to exclusive author writing room tours. I'm interested to see how brands and non-brands alike use this app to tell stories, the way Snapchat's "My Story" function allows users to string together several multi-second clips or the way a looped Vine creates a mesmerizing moving image.
I predict in the next six months we'll see major changes in the way brands use Periscope and Meerkat, and that by the end of the year, we'll know if they're here to stay or gone the way of Ello.