The downside to using Periscope and Meerkat

Raise your hand if this sounds all too familiar to you: One minute your minding your own business, live-streaming your epic attempt at putting those fancy frosting flowers on cupcakes, when BAM — your phone totally dies and harshes the whole vibe. The first time it happened you might not have thought anything of it, but it turns out the battery suck isn’t all in your head. As fun as live-streaming apps can be, it turns out that Meerkat and Periscope are major battery drainers and use up a ton of data.

This might seem a little bit surprising when you consider the generally low quality of the images you see watching live-stream on the apps, but it turns out that the low quality is very intentional on the company’s part. If it were any better than that, your phone would be kaput before you could so much as bite into a cupcake, let alone decorate one (my Friday nights are clearly quite productive). As for the data, the drainage can be super sneaky. You usually don’t notice until you or your parents get the phone bill at the end of the month, and if you’ve gone over the allotted data for the month it can spell out b-i-g t-r-o-u-b-l-e for overage fees.

It would be a shame for people to miss our one-man cooking extravaganzas and other such important Meerkat adventures, though, so fortunately there are two things you can do to avoid these hazards. The first is to make sure that wherever you are, your phone is connected to a solid Wi-Fi source. The second is to make sure your phone is fully charged, and if it’s possible, to keep it connected to a power source. You can get one of those crazy long chargers for your phone on Amazon so you can still dance to the beat of your own Periscope drum, too. See y’all on the frosting front lines, guys.

(Image from here.)