The rate of consumption (and the subsequent discarding) of new apps is accelerating. Chatroulette had nine months in the spotlight. Turntable had around a year. Draw Something only had six weeks. Frontback was hot in the tech scene for a few months. Same for Secret. Ello and Yo each had a week.
That brings us to this this week, where I’m entrenched in the mecca of viral hits and social media noise: South by Southwest. For the first time in three years, there’s actually a breakout hit. Meerkat, a livestreaming social media app, has exploded thanks to a heavy reliance on integration with Twitter (and a striking similarity, in functionality and logo, to Snapchat). Since launching in late February, the Meerkat has climbed into the top 100 social networking apps in the U.S. The app is perfectly suited to a festival like SXSW: it’s social, it’s live, it’s fun, and it’s frivolous. It is the topic of conversation at parties. The stakes could not be higher.