Meerkat live-stream app adds new features, including a new co-host mode

The app, which was the talk of the tech industry earlier this year, is bolstering its capabilities to better compete with Twitter's Periscope app.

Nigel Manuel
Nigel Manuel is an editorial intern for CNET News. He has worked for multiple local-news outlets and got his start at a radio station in his home state of Tennessee. He attends the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He's an avid gamer who watches TV and reads on the side.
Nigel Manuel

Meerkat has added new features, including a "Cameo" mode. Meerkat

Personal streaming viewers can now become guest stars.

Live streaming video app Meerkat announced two new features designed to bring streamers and viewers a little closer together, including a way for people to jump into streams and a way to store a library of recordings.

Meerkat said its new "Cameo" feature will allow stream viewers, once approved by the main broadcaster, to take over a stream and broadcast themselves for up to 60 seconds. The company will also now automatically save and store streams when people finish broadcasting. The library is private, but saved streams can be made publicly available.

For Meerkat, these new features could help give it a leg up against Twitter and its live-streaming app Periscope.

Meerkat launched February, just before the SXSW festival in Texas, which has historically been the launching ground for several high-profile companies including the location check-in app Foursquare and Twitter itself. Though the app appeared to be growing in popularity and usage, Twitter moved to reduce its influence but cutting Meerkat's access to user's friends lists. That very same day, Twitter announced that it purchased rival Periscope.

To help differentiate itself from Periscope, Meerkat said it's shifting to Facebook as a way of logging in and connecting to friends. "By connecting Meerkat with Facebook, we greatly increase the chances that you will be able to take part in conversations, events and moments with those whom you are most familiar," the company said.