Twitter quite understandably wants its live video streaming app Periscope to be a success, but the company might be resorting to some rather heavy-handed methods to make sure of that. According to a report from TechCrunch, Twitter is contacting celebrities who use rival app Meerkat, trying to convince them the competition is dying and they should use Periscope instead.
TechCrunch’s sources also report that Twitter is reaching out to media companies that use Meerkat, implying that if they don’t switch to exclusive use of Periscope it could mean the loss of access to Amplify. Amplify is Twitter’s answer to commercial television, providing a product that pairs media companies with brands to send promoted tweets based around video clips. This gives an audience boost to both the sponsoring brand and the media company.
One source said that that Twitter’s celebrity outreach team is getting involved on behalf of Periscope in some very aggressive ways. “Twitter hounds every celebrity after they try Meerkat,” the source said. “Almost to the point of stalking.”
Meerkat came on the live video broadcasting scene first, but Twitter cut off the app’s access to the social graph. This makes it more difficult to follow Twitter contacts on Meerkat, so users have to share links to their streams on the social media site.
Twitter’s movements to overtake Meerkat aren’t surprising, since the company wants to position itself as a broadcasting platform. However, how much traction will Periscope really gain, with Twitter using such bullying tactics to draw users to its own app? Only time will tell which streaming solution remains the most popular, but for right now the numbers have Periscope in the lead. Periscope is currently ranked 22nd among social apps on the App Store, while Meerkat is ranked 120th.