Meerkat Now Allows Users to Sign Up Without Twitter Accounts

Social live streaming service Meerkat took another step Wednesday to distinguish itself from Twitter-owned competitor Periscope: Meerkat now allows users to sign up with Facebook instead of Twitter.

However, Meerkat uses Facebook a bit differently from Twitter — starting a stream doesn’t automatically post anything to Facebook. Instead, the network is just used to find friends and contacts, and be notified when any of them starts a live stream on Meerkat. Existing Meerkat users can also add their Facebook accounts to get the same notifications through Meerkat’s app.

In addition to Facebook logins, Meerkat also added to the app Wednesday a new feature called Cameo that allows a live streamer to invite any of their viewers to briefly take over the stream for an up to 60-second cameo appearance. Here’s how Meerkat described the new feature in a blog post:

“It’s a simple yet powerful way to create a deeper human connection with people — going from ‘broadcasting to’ towards ‘broadcasting with.’ This is the strongest manifestation of our long-term vision for participatory live-streaming.”

Meerkat seemed to struggle to compete with Twitter’s Periscope after the social networking giant rolled out the app earlier this year. But in recent weeks, Meerkat has been making some headway, most recently striking an alliance with Discovery Channel to power “Shark Week” with social live streams.

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