Viewer’s Guide to Meerkat
The complete user’s guide to Meerkat – How to get the most out of Meerkat. Still don’t know what this Meerkat app is? Be sure to start with our Introductory post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Meerkat.
To start using Meerkat today, you can use any phone or browser – by simply clicking on a Meerkat link you find on Twitter or other social networks and sites. The official app, the one that allows commenting and interacting is currently only available in Apple’s app store (and thus unavailable to three-quarters of worldwide smartphone users – a large problem, frankly). There is a view-only app available for Instagram, but it is unofficial and does not allow streaming, only enabling viewing of Meerkat streams (let’s call them “Meerkasts”).
On iOS, once you have downloaded the app – you can simply sign in with your Twitter login credentials – giving Meerkat access to your camera and microphone, and you are ready to watch Meerkat live streams.
[clickToTweet tweet=” Download the official Meerkat App for yourself: goo.gl/TNvPXE” quote=”Download the official Meerkat App for yourself: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/meerkat-tweet-live-video/id954105918″]
On Android, the unofficial Meerkat app only allows users to view streams, not interact with them in any way, nor manage your profile or following. Although as a viewer, you may not need to be able to Stream, it does keep you from being able to interact directly with the person streaming video to your phone. Not only that – but if they are recording in widescreen – your screen will be cut off – as the browser does not account for that, and still attempts to display the video vertically. On top of that – to follow new users – you can’t open the app and view the streams of those you follow – you need to find the link on Twitter yourself.
On Desktop (Browser): New users, who have not yet installed either app are able to quickly and easily watch your stream, but they lose interactivity – they cannot comment, favorite, or share your streams. They do still have to log in with their Twitter credentials though – there is no guest viewing without a Twitter account.
Find Meerkasts to Watch
Unless you are already following someone – Meerkasts are hard to find using the app itself. A better discovery system is hopefully on the way – for now you can only view the top users via the Meerkat leaderboard (the Ribbon icon at the top-right), but there are some great people in there worth checking out.
Follow users manually using the search function.
You need to use their Twitter username, and they need to already be Meerkat users for the follow to work.
Find Meerkasts using Twitter, searching for [#Meerkat LIVE NOW]. You should include “Live Now” because the hashtag by itself will bring up news stories, blog posts, and general discussion about the app, not just the meerkasts themselves.
Pro Tip: Don’t go following all the top users – be sure to check them out first and make sure it’s something you’d enjoy – as you receive a notification every time someone you follow schedules or launches a new stream.
[clickToTweet tweet=”#Meerkat Pro Tip: Don’t follow everyone. Notifications will drive you crazy. @AppMeerkat” quote=”#Meerkat Pro Tip: Don’t follow everyone. Notifications will drive you crazy. @AppMeerkat”]
Find Even MORE Meerkasts to Watch
Meerkat “God Mode”
Ever wanted to see all the streams currently happening on Meerkat, similar to the way that Periscope will show you all the active streams? Well, you too can do this! Simply hold your finger on the Meerkat at the top of the app’s home discovery scene for five seconds to call out to your fellow Meerkats and gather the herd.
Chat Roulette + Meerkat = Meerkat Roulette
Interact with Others on Meerkat
The controls are easy for anyone to pick up and master. Once you launch a Meerkast in the iOS app, you can see a chat icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Click on that to bring up your keyboard and join the conversation: comment, ask questions, thank whoever is running the Meerkast. Favorites, RTs and comments by viewers appear above the chat icon. Remember – any comments made on a Meerkast will appear on Twitter as threaded replies unless you turn off the “Tweet this comment” switch.
You can check up on who else is watching – scroll through the user photos at the top of the screen – and click on the image to bring up their name and tagline from Twitter. There is currently a bug – and some profiles – mine included – do not have valid profile photos in Meerkat – hopefully this will be resolved soon.
View Past Meerkasts
NOT! Once a user stops streaming to Meerkat, the broadcast disappears, leaving only a “Stream Over” page which will allow you to follow them, as well as leave a final comment on the stream.
Schedule and Stream Your Own Meerkasts
Learn to Stream on Meerkat with our Creator’s Guide to Meerkasting (Meerkat Video Streaming)!