Meerkat & Twitter

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Back to the weasel and the woodpecker. It looks like a fun woodland adventure for two fuzzy friends, but the truth is a bit more bleak.

The image, which many mistook for an adorable interaction, depicts a rodent attacking a bird, the bird flying away to defend itself, and the rodent simply hanging on until it could sever a vein. The two parted ways unharmed, according to the photographer.

Meerkat’s launch in February was an unexpected rodent attack, from Twitter’s perspective. The company had already closed on an acquisition in January that would enable this exact feature on its massive platform, controlled wholly by Twitter itself. And then that damn Meerkat came along, just in time to make a splash at SXSW. To add insult to injury it was Twitter that wrote the “launch virally at SXSW” playbook that Meerkat cribbed.

I find the Meerkat phenomenon fascinating. Live streaming video on Twitter is even more ethereal than a snapchat. I’ve watched a few Meerkats and missed a few that I wanted to check out.[1] And the fact that I missed a Meerkat, which left me wanting to catch it next time I got a notification, was a mini revelation that surprised me.

If companies can harness that desire not to miss out, the potential for Meerkat (or Twitter’s competing service) is incredible. Not to mention that before we know it, news reporters will be able stream directly to their Twitter followers, or everyday people can live stream news events to on TV reporters.

What exactly does this mean? I’m not sure. But it’s exciting to be living through this time of change and technological advancement.

Meerkat And Twitter, Or, The Weasel And The Woodpecker


  1. Jimmy Fallon seems to have caught on to it.  ↩

Update: I guess Meerkat can be slightly more permanent if people want now. A service called #Katch just launched that allows those streaming video to easily upload a video stream to YouTube once completed.