Meerkat has beaten Periscope to the punch, launching a beta programme for an Android version of its live video streaming service ahead of the Twitter-owned rival.
Launched in March, Meerkat is a free app formerly exclusive to iOS which lets users stream live video from their smartphone to their Twitter followers. Just days after launch, on 26 March, Twitter announced its acquisition of rival video streaming service Periscope, seemingly sounding an early death knell for Meerkat.
Both apps launched on iOS first, but promised Android versions would soon follow - and now Meerkat has arrived as a public beta on Android before Periscope. Those who want to get their hands on Meerkat for Android can sign up via a Google form. Meerkat for Android will be extremely limited initially, with just the first 200 people who fill out the form getting access to the beta app. Meerkat said this number could be extended, but it sounds like the beta programme will be very small until any kinks in how the app runs have been ironed out.
Aside from tweeting out a link to the form, Meerkat has not commented on the beta programme for its Android app. As for Twitter and Periscope, the company has confirmed that an Android app is in the works, but has not said when it will be made available - either as a beta or a final product.
Never mind maintaining the momentum to launch an Android app, it's impressive enough that Meerkat is still around, given Twitter's attempts to immediately kill it off. Right after launch, Twitter limited Meerkat's access to its social graph, just hours after confirming its acquisition of Periscope, which at the time had not even launched.
To survive, Meerkat hopes to grow through Facebook Messenger and users' address books, both of which will expand its user base of "more than 100,000" without relying on Twitter, CEO Ben Rubin told The Next Web in March.