Why the Meerkat app just might be the next big thing

We have to admit, there are so many different social media channels out there that it’s getting hard to keep up. You can watch Vines on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, share gossip and funny moments over Snapchat and YikYak, or cross-pin items between Pinterest and weheartit while sharing your activity on Facebook, but the world of live streaming video was still its own thing — until now.

Meerkat, a free app that debuted just a couple of weeks ago, has gotten real popular, real fast, reportedly gaining 15,000 users in its first three days. It’s currently turning heads at media festival SXSW, and it’s no wonder that it’s popular: Meerkat allows users to stream live video on their iPhone or iPad through their Twitter accounts, and share live stream links with their Twitter followers.

Whether you want to cause FOMO while you’re at the best concert of your life or share long distance experiences as they’re happening, the applications for Meerkat are endless. Unlike other video chatting or streaming programs, Meerkat totally connects the mobile, streaming, and social worlds in one neatly packaged app (which, let’s be real, looks a lot like Snapchat’s sunny logo).

Part of Meerkat’s popularity came from the fact that it’s totally integrated with Twitter, but that’s already changing — Twitter is reportedly working on a live stream app of its own, and has already moved to limit Meerkat’s growth. For now though, Meerkat’s success shows that live streaming is the next social frontier, taking the social sharing experience even closer to straight-up reality.

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