Round 3 of the epic battle of the live-streaming apps. After Twitter cut off Meerkat and launched its own Periscope, Meerkat was due to fight back. They starting doing so last week by being the first to launch on Android. Today, Meerkat is looking towards developers to differentiate itself some more.
Building for Meerkat is not something entirely new for developers. Since its launch 9 weeks ago, 37 developers have already built companion experiences for Meerkat. But up to now, apps like stream discovery, automatic uploads of streams to YouTube, or meerkat audience analytics tools were all built using an unofficial, private API.
But today, Meerkat is launching an official developer platform and set of APIs. As a platform, Meerkat can now look forward to build new tools and experiences that the small Meerkat team could not even dream of building themselves. No doubt this is a strategic move to propulse Meerkat up, maybe on top of Periscope again?
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The Meerkat API allows developers to pull arrays of all current or scheduled streams, as well as information like comments, viewers, and more. However, Meerkat is not yet allowing for a stream to be posted from outside the app, likely because of the security reasons behind letting developers do so.
Meerkat founder, Rubin, explained the reason behind this to TechCrunch:
We believe that whatever we release now is a promise forever. Step by step, Meerkat may cautiously offer more API functionality, but the last thing we want is to have to take a step back.