Days after Twitter cut Meerkat off from easily reaching the micro-blogging site’s audience, the company said it was “grateful” to Twitter for helping jump-start the service. “We would not be sitting here if it wasn’t for Twitter. We need to be grateful for that,” Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin was quoted as saying by CNET during a Yahoo Tech event.
Meerkat has been the recent favorite of tech industry, exploding to more than 100,000 users since the app was launched in late February. The service initially had a tight integration with Twitter, depending on Meerkat users to link their accounts to their Twitter followers. But Twitter recently said it was cutting off Meerkat’s ability to pull information from a user’s collection of Twitter followers.
On the same day, Twitter also officially announced the acquisition of Periscope, a Meerkat competitor. “They worked very hard to build their graph. It’s their house. We need to respect that and be the best guests we can be,” Rubin, 27, said of Twitter.
Live video could become an important element for social networks, as people put more of their personal lives on the Internet. There are also potential revenue opportunities as marketers look at how they can advertise with individualized video feeds. He said it was never the intent to keep Meerkat dependent on Twitter, but that using Twitter seemed like the best way to “jump-start” the community.
Since Twitter cut off Meerkat, Rubin said the company has already started to move beyond its leaning on Twitter, though he didn’t go into specifics.