Meerkat, the hit live-streaming app, said today it now allows users to follow each other directly through its app.
Until today, there was no way for users to follow each other directly. Instead, they had to do it through Twitter. But last Friday, Twitter shut off Meerkat’s access to its social graph, a step that limited how the new app — which launched at the end of last month — could grow its user base.
Earlier today, Meerkat announced that users could search for and follow people on the Web. Then, it announced, via a tweet, that it was not possible to do so directly in the app. The way to do so, it said, was through the so-called “Stream over” page that users see when a live stream is, well, over.
UPDATE: People can now follow you via "Stream over" pages. –Example by the marvelous @jimmyfallon
Over the weekend, Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin told VentureBeat that the app would overcome some of the limitations from losing access to Twitter’s social graph through unspecified “magic.” Today’s moves, to allow users to grow the community without having to rely on Twitter, seem to be what he was talking about.
Despite the hit it took by losing access to Twitter’s social graph, Meerkat was pretty much the unquestioned “winner” of South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW), which ended yesterday. For one thing, the app has redefined the way people can share conference sessions with the outside world, something that is likely to have a wide impact (and possibly force event organizers to implement new rules). It’s also a great place to tune in to what strangers are doing, in real time.