Sometimes you just want to watch something random.
That’s how I felt just now. So I pulled up Twitter in search of whatever Meerkat livestreams I could find.
I typed “LIVE NOW” into the search box. Then I clicked a bunch of links to Meerkat streams. (You can find them by looking for the #meerkat hashtag and the mrk.tv links.) Most of the streams were over by the time I clicked on them, but one out of every four or so was still on. In many cases, it’s just one or two people watching — so it’s sort of intimate.
It was great. It was really entertaining — it brought a long burst of serendipity to Twitter that I can’t help writing about. It was sort of like Chatroulette, except that people in some sense could be held accountable. By that I mean you can find them on Twitter if you want to.
The whole experience — I’ll call it Meerkat surfing — helped me understand why Twitter felt compelled recently to acquire a different live video app, Periscope. I can’t wait to see what Twitter does with it. For now, though, all I have is Meerkat. And I’m fine with that.
People were doing so many things with it.
I saw a guy wearing a Yankee hat in Miami making shout-outs into his phone and then freestyling. (@bino305)
I saw a couple guys in suits in Australia talking to each other about their morning. (@dean_aus)
I saw a guy in San Diego showing Meerkat to another guy while the camera was for the most part pointed at the television. Jeopardy was on. (@kinglordbryan)
I saw some guys in Kansas City watching television. (@iamandyb)
I saw some people singing “Dreams” by The Cranberries, karaoke style, at a New York bar. (@spotastic)
I saw a bunch of guys speaking in Portuguese at a bar. (@rodrigooandrade)
I saw a guy in Los Angeles playing with his baby son named Ezra. (@imrel88)
I saw a wrinkly old English bulldog in Detroit wearing a cone on her head and snoring. (@grahamdavis)
I saw vocalist Kellin Quinn driving somewhere. (@Kellinquinn)
I saw some guys hanging out and talking in a bedroom in New York. (@joebdoeb) They, like a few other people recording on Meerkat, figured out who I was.
“You gon’ wanna write about this,” said one guy wearing sunglasses. “We’re about to make a banger. You’re our first-hand witness.”
“What’s up, people,” the other one said later. “We’re in the studio, you know? We’re making music.”
I saw a man and a woman walking through a New York supermarket in search of food. (@rubensepulveda)
“Do you want soda bread?” the man asked the woman. She said she didn’t.
I saw a man and a woman talking at a bar in Philadelphia. (@jopincushion)
“It’s surprising people are still watching, because we’re just going to drink more,” the woman said.
I saw one guy showing Meerkat to another guy in Los Angeles. (@alex_rosenblum)
“One person’s watching.”
“Oh, it’s a guy.”
“This is just a random guy. I don’t know who he is, and he’s watching me on Meerkat.
Oh — and how could I forget? I saw Mary J. Blige performing at the Samsung Supper Club at SXSW, courtesy of Mashable. (@mashable)
If only there were a keyboard shortcut on my laptop to flip through Meerkat streams. That is what I would be doing right now.