Meerkat, Periscope, Live Streaming Sermons

live-streaming-sermons-smallOver the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard the terms meerkat and periscope being thrown around the communications world and wondering why an adorable mammal needs something to see over fences with.

Meerkat and Periscope are both iPhone apps that easily live stream events (such as services and sermons) from your phone. They’re easy to use, and can be interactive. As a bonus, they’re also linked to your Twitter account so your followers can see when you’re streaming and watch. They have a couple of little differences that we’ll talk about a bit later, for now, let’s think of them as essentially the same.

Why Should I Consider Live Streaming Sermons?

Do you have any housebound congregation members? Can distance or weather make it difficult to attend services? Live streaming can help you spread the Gospel to them, and anyone else who may be watching.

Of course live streaming isn’t mandatory, but when it’s easy, why not? And as it was said in this Meerkat in Church post “It’s a tool for a job and the job is to spread the Gospel message. This is true for smart phones, facebook, blogs, etc.”

Let’s look at each of the apps.

Meerkat

Meerkat was the shining star app from this year’s SXSW Interactive conference in Austin. If you’re not familiar with SXSW, it’s the leading technology conference in the US, attracting 33,000 people from 110 countries. Some of our favorite communications tools were launched there, Twitter being top of mind.

There are a couple of “rules” with Meerkat. Everything is real-time live. The superfluous language is intentional. While you can save the video to your phone, no one else can replay it. It’s all 100% public, and watchers can restream your stream to their followers. Sorry, that had to go in so I could say restream your stream.

Periscope

This is Twitter’s product that was released just after Meerkat exploded at SXSW, and I suspect this is the one that’ll stick around. There are a couple of differences between Meerkat and Periscope. Periscope lets you make your videos available for replay, and you can make private videos for a select few.

I think both are working on Android versions.

As with all media (social, print and gossip) it’s all about how you use it. I installed Periscope on Easter Sunday morning and was hit by a barrage of other people’s kids finding chocolate eggs.

If you do decide to live stream your service or just the sermon, let us know.