Is Live Video Streaming the Future of Twitter?

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By Jacob Maslow

meerkatIt’s very hard to justify Twitter’s stock price. Let’s just get that out of the way now. The company isn’t making any money, but its stock is worth dozens of billions of dollars. What’s wrong with this picture? Just like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) is under a tremendous amount of pressure to justify its market valuation. It is no surprise then that Twitter has been conducting lots of ad revenue generating experiments to boost its bottom line.

While this is all commendable, Twitter should pay attention to one particularly hot segment of its consumer usage patterns. One key area where Twitter users are showing a lot of interest is live streaming. This is dramatically demonstrated by the rising fortunes of a mobile app that runs on Twitter. This app is called Meerkat. When you have a Meerkat account, and you are followed by other people on Twitter, Meerkat will ping your followers to see your live video.

Live video is a very interesting space in social media. It obviously makes most sense in markets that have high-bandwidth speeds. Regardless, the ability for an immediate social media experience to live video is quite exciting. Well, it appears that Meerkat may not last long because Twitter apparently has its own in-house live video product in the works.

Regardless of which direction Twitter takes regarding this pace, it has to move fast. The problem with Twitter is that fact that its user base is very erratic. When the company was about to go public, many analysts were predicting that Twitter’s adoption rate will blow up while its revenues will stagnate. In reality, the opposite is what happened. While its revenues are showing great signs of growth, which paves the way the eventuality that Twitter would actually start making money, its user base is showing signs of softening and outright erosion. The fact of the matter is that there’s a high level of user burnout as far as Twitter is concerned.

Twitter really has to hit the ball right out of the park as far as user engagement is concerned to retain as much of that user base as possible. Live video is a very promising option for Twitter at this point in time.

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