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March 20, 2015

If A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words Then Streaming Video Must Be Worth 1.2 Million

First Meerkat App Stream From Helicopter Over New York City. (Photo credit: : Anthony Quintano/Flickr)

A new app came flying out of SxSW this year called Meerkat and instantly we saw a potential game changer for the travel industry. Not sure what Meerkat is? Well, if you’re still sifting through the buzz from SxSW, Meerkat is a free app that allows you to record video from your smartphone and stream it instantly on Twitter for your followers to watch. It allows people to tell any story they want or to share any experience they want, in real-time. 

For travelers, Meerkat could mean live broadcasting of you making it to the top of the Great Wall of China or trying squid for the first time in a foreign land. In this age of sharing, it’s going to be fun, and everyone is going to get very creative.

Meerkat could change the way we use Twitter. It isn’t inconceivable that those traditional 140-character tweets will gradually be replaced by live streaming and other videos. It is likely that long, well-produced videos will give way to serendipitous, funny “sharing” videos.

As with every social platform, big businesses will start to evaluate how they can use a tool like Meerkat to connect with potential customers. We’ve seen brands crack the Twitter code and slowly find creative uses for Snapchat and Instagram. Meerkat has the potential to be next.

For instance, if you are following Virgin Atlantic online you could see in real time what their new planes look like. Perhaps we’ll start to see some humorous promotional videos from companies like Avis. Maybe a hotel chain like EVEN Hotels will use Meerkat to give us a tour of what a wellness hotel provides. Through Meerkat, brands can partner with famous travel influencers – whether that’s Anthony Bourdain or Samantha Brown – by allowing people to live vicariously through them. Whatever the creative use is, Meerkat has the potential to connect brands with their customers and make them feel like they are part of the experience, unlike other social networking platforms where people often feel like they are watching from the outside looking in.

In the world of selfies and information overload, people are continuing to seek out better, more authentic ways to connect. At WorldMate, we believe that connecting is also a key to our success. One example is WorldMate enabling our customers to connect spontaneously through LinkedIn, giving business travelers the vantage point to see which of their colleagues are nearby.

We’re excited to see if the travel industry will adopt and use an app like Meerkat and we’re dreaming up potential ways we can add such advances to our products... stay tuned!

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