Despite Tech Media's Obsession, Big Brands Aren't Rushing to Meerkat, Periscope

Ad Age Checked the Most Recent 200 Tweets From the Top 100 Brands

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Typically the bigger the brand, the longer it takes them to adopt the hottest new social app. Case in point: trendy live-streaming apps Meerkat and Twitter's Periscope.

Meerkat launched in late February as a way for people to stream live broadcasts from their phones that would cross-post to Twitter so that anyone could tune in. Many did. By March 16 the app that became the toast of tech festival SXSW had registered more than 91,776 livestreams and more than 293,800 views since launch, according to social analytics firm Simply Measured.

Then on Thursday Twitter officially launched Periscope, a Meerkat-like livestreaming app the social network had acquired in January. That same day, there were almost as many tweets containing the hashtag #periscope as those containing the hashtag #meerkat, as Quartz's Dan Frommer pointed out on Twitter.

Big brands, however, have mostly stayed on the sidelines. Marketers such as JCPenney and Starbucks tried out Meerkat early on, and GE and Spotify have already posted Periscope streams. They appear to be the exceptions, at least for now.

On March 13 -- the first day of SXSW when Meerkat was really catching on -- Ad Age pulled the most recent 200 tweets from each of the top 100 brands on Ad Age's list of the most-advertised brands by U.S. measured-media spending in 2013. That list includes heavy hitters such as AT&T, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Ford and Walmart. None of those tweets contained Meerkat links.

On March 27, Ad Age ran the same test, this time checking for either Meerkat or Periscope links in the brands' 200 most recent tweets. Of those 100 brands, none had directly tweeted a link to Periscope, though T-Mobile had retweeted a tweet linking to the app. And three -- Verizon, L'Oreal and Intuit -- had tweeted a link to Meerkat, including a few retweets. Those tweets are embedded below.

A caveat: The tweet-by-tweet comparison isn't exact. Meerkat streams automatically cross-post to the streamer's Twitter account with a link to the stream and the hashtag #meerkat. Periscope streams do not by default. People have to select the option to cross-post to Twitter; if they opt to do so, the corresponding tweet will contain a link to the stream and the hashtag #periscope. So while tweets should offer an accurate view of Meerkat volume, there may be a discrepancy when it comes to Periscope volume.

Brands tweeting Meerkat links, as of March 27:

Brands tweeting Periscope links, as of March 27:

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