AKHIA’s Social Media team has been busy testing Meerkat and Periscope, two brand new apps that make live stream broadcasting simpler than ever before. Here’s what you need to know so far:

What are they?
First things first: Meerkat and Periscope are both live streaming apps for iOS devices. Both allow users to use their device to share streaming video and audio with their followers—in real time. Both apps allow users to shoot or view video, build followings, follow others and share the world around them in a live feed.

Both apps are interactive, too. Though they only allow for broadcasting—rather than 1:1 video chatting—viewers can “like” and comment on live streams in a non-distracting manner (though Periscope’s pastel ‘like-hearts’ can get a bit overwhelming). These comment and “like” features allow for interaction, questions and comments to shape the live-streaming content.

What sets them apart?
Firstly, a major difference between the two apps is that Periscope allows users to save their broadcasted videos for later viewing. Much like Snapchat, Meerkat is a more fleeting-moment experience, where broadcasts are deleted as soon as they go “off-air.” Though an argument can be made for the merits of both systems, Periscope’s recorded broadcasts offer life beyond live.

Inevitably, I’ll get the question: What separates these apps from what’s already out there? The differentiator of these apps is that they are live broadcast forums. Simply by having an iOS-ready device and a Twitter account (that’s how you sign in to both apps), users can share their view of the world with anyone. While other apps allow for posting of videos, photos and statuses, Periscope and Meerkat allow for streaming video and audio live in the moment.

Which one should I choose?
So far, Periscope is the leader, in terms of downloads, in the Apple App Store. It sits firmly near the top 50 apps, where Meerkat is floundering down near the top 500. Should that keep you from embracing Meerkat? No, but it is important to remember that the channel that ends up winning battles such as these (think Google+ vs. Facebook), is the one that more users adopt. So far, that’s Periscope, so choose wisely. The Guardian has made its choice, and it presents the 5 reasons that Periscope is superior.

What could go wrong?
Now that it’s easier than ever to create and share live video, brands need to be aware of what could go wrong. By showing a rival brand, a celebrity’s image or any other protected asset, brands could become susceptible to lawsuits or other fines. It’s important to always err on the side of caution—especially as live streaming becomes more widely used. Brands should always put thought and consideration into each stream. From the on-screen personality to the content and background scene, brands need to be on their game to avoid becoming the next social media #fail.

How can I try them out?
We’ve got you covered! If you’re new to these apps (or even if you’re not), we invite you to join AKHIA President, Ben Brugler, for a special edition live stream of his weekly “I’ve Ben Thinking” email update (if you’re not receiving these emails and would like to, request to be added here). Monday, April 13 at 1 p.m., Ben will be live on both Periscope and Meerkat! He’ll be sharing what’s been on his mind from the world of marketing, PR, branding and more. We hope that you’ll join us by doing the following:

● Download either Meerkat or Periscope for your iOS device (sorry Androids)
● Log in with your Twitter account (the only way to sign in to either app)
● Search for and follow @AKHIA
● Join us on Monday, April 13 at 1 p.m.

We hope to see you on Monday, but in the meantime, you can always reach out to AKHIA’s social media team to chat more about what these apps might mean for you, your brand or your business!