There is no question that Meerkat was the hottest topic of conversation during SXSW this year. Meerkat is the new app introduced during SXSW 2015 that allows you to live-stream content on Twitter.
Some of the critics raised their eyebrows about this new app when it comes down to the safety and privacy issue of social media.
“… privacy can be an issue for people broadcasting video of anything other than themselves or willing participants ….” − Kia Kokalitcheva via Fortune Magazine
But you can’t deny this generation that ALWAYS wants their content here and now, 24/7, 365 days a year, LIVE.
“… people love it. Meerkat has become a darling of Product Hunt that’s signing up plenty of tech’s elite and scoring praise from users.” – Josh Constine via TechCrunch
As you look back into the history of social media, you will notice that it’s been about real time. Facebooking your latest status with your friends, tweeting the live concert you are at this instance … real-time content seems like the purpose of social media all along.
“Today’s younger generation has a reputation of being glued to cellphones and tablets. It’s where they chat with their friends, find out the latest hot spots in town and, believe it or not, keep up with the world. In their own way, of course.” – Erica Quinn, CBS
But where does this lead us to in the future of social media?
Will live-streaming and real-time content change consumer behavior?
Today, Twitter just announced its partnership with Rhapsody on the new feature, which allows music service subscribers to share full-length tracks on Twitter that anyone can listen to, even if they don’t have a subscription themselves. Also, Twitch announced its live-streaming service with Ultra Music Festival for those music fans who couldn’t be at the event in person. Now fans can watch online in real time. Even more, Game of Thrones’ Meerkat (now it’s a verb, just like tweet) the red carpet moments during the Season 5 premiere without any commercial interruptions.
Will people soon enough not need to spend big bucks on concerts and events like SXSW or Coachella since they can just watch everything with a click? Will any exclusive materials and experiences that become more easily accessible to everyone lose their unique charisma from a content-marketing perspective?
From my observations and experience, my answers will be no.
Social media is a way of life, but it’s also about another main focus: INTERACTION.
Brands want to know the general perception from the audiences and users, and they want their fans to engage on the social channels. Brands feed content continuously in order for people to keep the conversation alive and to keep their brand image fun and refreshing.
Keep the conversations going is a main reason why social is still king in the digital space. Good content will drop on the ground and die without any further interaction and buzz in the community.
What if we have live-streaming options and can also interact with people at the same time? Augmented reality seems so overdone. How can we refresh this concept into actual successful executions?
With the rapid technology developing day by day, I am very much looking forward to the inventions we see on sci-fi films very soon.