Remember those long-ago days of, er, SXSW 2015? Meerkat was the sudden darling of the tech industry, making an older idea – broadcasting live video to the world from a smartphone – the hot new thing. Except there were quickly hotter, newer, bigger things in that space: Twitter’s Periscope; startup YouNow; and hottest/biggest of all: Facebook Live. Meerkat faded away quickly, and now a year and a half after its debut, it’s been shut down. “We just removed Meerkat from the AppStore – bitter sweet moment seeing it go while celebrating @houseparty,” wrote CEO Ben Rubin, referring to his company’s (new/hot/etc) video-chat app Houseparty, which has quietly attracted more than a million users. “We may have just pulled Meerkat from the app store, but it was actually six months after we launched that we made the decision to change direction,” Rubin told TechCrunch. “The category of broadcast (one-to-many) wasn’t breaking as a daily habit… it’s too far away from the everyday user.” It seems to be working pretty well for Facebook, which suggests the next challenge for Houseparty: if it manages to break as a daily habit, won’t Facebook do that too?

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