Monday, April 20, 2015

Periscope vs Meerkat Bake Off

It is not often that you get to do a truly side-by-side comparison of two new tools, but Gloria Bell (@gloriabell) and I (@twelsonrossman) got the perfect opportunity to do just that with Meerkat and Periscope at the Philly Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference (#PhillyETE) last week.

We used both apps at various times throughout the conference, but at the Day 2 Keynote, we did an actual side-by-side comparison.
The reason we wanted to try live streaming at the conference is a no brainer, this has the potential to be a great marketing tool . The ability to reach more people with good content, is really exciting when you run a lot of events like we do.  

Here are the pros and cons of each with our “Bake-off” winner (and the reasons why) below.


Pros: Easy to set up an account
Easy to give the stream a name / title  
                       Ability to tweet comments in the stream
                       Can schedule a stream
            Ability to save broadcast
                       Can target smaller, more direct audience because no auto link to Twitter

Cons:       Cannot zoom in or increase volume
                      Need a built-in audience to gain viewers  
                      Lack of direct connection to tweet the stream makes it harder to gain audience
                      Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone
                      Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work
                      Hard to understand the metrics for viewership during the broadcast and post
                      Lack of documentation on how to use it
           Really need a tripod for a good recording
           No post-viewing metrics

                    Setting up the account was easy
         Ability to save the broadcast
                    Connecting to and broadcasting via Twitter was easy
        Ability to tweet comments and likes in the stream, but can’t easily add
        other Twitter names in the tweet
        Easy to “title” - just like a tweet
        Direct link to Twitter makes for a larger audience but also more possibility for spam

         Can’t switch between Twitter accounts
                    Can only have one account associated with the app
                    Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work
         Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone
                    Lack of documentation on how to use it
                    Few metrics - post view metrics much easier to see on an iPad
         Really need a tripod for a good recording

There are a lot of limitations with both apps and we are hopeful there are more features coming that will address the issues we outlined above. Both seem to be good, fairly easy-to-use tools for livestreaming, especially at events. For right now we give Periscope the edge due to its seamless integration with Twitter.  This feature alone will make it an easier-to-use social marketing tool.

It is a slight edge, though.  Even with the limitations, we see these apps as a great tool for events and smaller conferences with small budgets. The video and audio quality will not be great, but these apps will allow for broader distribution of events.  

Check out our next experiments at the Women in Tech Summit on April 18th and Chariot Solutions’ talk on Angular JS on April 22nd.