Meerkat and Periscope are two apps with a similar purpose: to let you broadcast live video over the web for anyone who wants to tune in. But what if your circle of friends aren’t live streaming enthusiasts? Here’s how you can find some streams of note on both networks.
In the apps
Inside the apps is where most users are going to get started, and if there’s nothing happening in your existing group of friends, then finding strangers to gawk at isn’t too difficult. Both apps could improve in the area of discovery, but there are some options to pick from.
From the very front page of Meerkat you can scroll down to see a selection of live streams that are currently being broadcast, though it’s not clear how they’re picked. Switch to the leaderboard (via the rosette icon) and you can see some of the biggest hitters in the Meerkat world, and join streams with a tap.
Over on Periscope, the only real way of finding streams outside your group of contacts is to open up the global list (the globe icon at the bottom). Again, it’s not too clear how these streams are picked, and there’s no search option to make use of either.
On Twitter and Facebook
Twitter is the original backbone of both these services and a simple #meerkat or #periscope search is enough to bring up a plethora of results. Of course, not all of them will be great, so you might want to add some more keywords based on topics or people of interest.
There have been a few Twitter feeds set up solely to curate the best Meerkat and Periscope videos but we couldn’t find any that were particular useful or well-maintained. @periscopetv is an official curation effort from Twitter, and thus one of the best options for either platform.
Meerkat has recently added Facebook integration too, so that’s another way of finding live streaming material that you might be interested in; Facebook’s real-time search capabilities aren’t as comprehensive as Twitter’s, but the #meerkat hashtag works in the same way.
On the web
There are plenty of aggregation portals on the web too, particularly for Meerkat: Meerkat Stats, for example, is ostensibly for tracking your own streams but it also features a leaderboard of power users and shows which of them are currently broadcasting to the world.
Meerkat Roulette does exactly what the name suggests it might, and then there’s Meerkat Streams, bringing you a constantly updated list of live and upcoming broadcasts. Head to the Top Kats section to find particularly popular streamers.
Periscope Streams is the equivalent site for the rival platform and works in a similar way, while both Dextro Stream and Streamalong do a good job of curating popular Periscopes that are worth checking out. Finally, Meerkat Meerkasts Map meshes Google Maps and Meerkat together to let you browse feeds by location.
This article originally appeared on Field Guide, Gizmodo's blog on how to get the best out of your tech