Like most things internet related, the speed at which new apps and tools are released can leave you reeling. You’ve just got a handle on the latest, greatest, when a competitor releases a bigger and better product. Staying current with digital marketing trends is a full-time job.

Facebook announced just last week the launch of its new live-streaming app, Live. Hardly surprising, since the launch of Meerkat, followed quickly by Periscope (Twitter) and Stre.am thereafter. One would think the market would be flooded now with apps offering the same service, but multiple live-streaming apps can exist side-by-side, since they each have various features, differentiating themselves from one another.

So in case you haven’t got a handle on the latest social media apps out there, here’s a short summary:

Meerkat: Following its launch at the end of February, this platform went from obscure to almost viral in one week. With 18 000 users in the first week, Meerkat has shown its quirky fun side to the world and looks set for success. It provides a simple way to live-stream video and get an audience for those videos, by using the Twitter platform (an unofficial but tight integration). The app automatically tweets when a stream is launched. One of the keys to its success, is its ephemeral nature – once the live stream is over, it cannot be seen again, creating a missing-out fear. So far, it has largely been ‘played’ with, but it has a scheduling feature created with businesses in mind. Marketers like the simplicity of the platform – they can just jump on, without first having to create a new profile which needs to be maintained.

Periscope: This product was acquired by Twitter, reportedly for close to $100 million. This app enables people to stream live videos from their mobile devices, much like Meerkat. Since their Android app release in May, they seem to have overtaken Meerkat in the live-streaming race. Collectively, Periscope users watch about 40 years of video each day.

Stre.am: Launched soon after Meerkat, this more flexible app allows users to live-stream videos from their iOS or Android devices and share it in real time over Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email and text messages. One can also shoot 15 second ‘reels’ that are available for 24 hours. It enables real time messaging during the live-stream, allowing people to communicate with the person broadcasting.

Live: Facebook’s dip into the live-streaming pool has a catch – at the moment it is only available to public figures with verified Facebook pages. Live-streams are posted via the Facebook Mentions iPhone app. The logic behind limiting the videos to celebrity posts, is that they will be able to focus on high quality content. Like Periscope and Stre.am, videos will be able to be viewed after the event ends.

Brands preferring a more professional look may stay away from these platforms, since the footage is often shaky and of a poor quality. The fact that it can reach a large audience very quickly, is possibly an overriding factor though.

WSI can help your business stay current

Staying up to date with these social media trends can be daunting. If your business is too small to support a team or person dedicated to digital marketing, why not contact WSI? Their team of experts can assist you in a number of ways, from advice on a digital marketing strategy, email marketing, website design, online reputation management and social media optimisation. Let WSI give your business or brand the edge.

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