The Meerkat app that was a hit last year is now officially dead. The app is no longer available for download or use, nor will it be again.
Life On Air, which created Meerkat, formally announced the app's "bittersweet" demise on Sept. 30.
Meerkat was basically the first real live streaming app to hit the market, which explains the immense popularity it saw when it made its debut back in 2015.
The app became an instant hit and gradually increased its user base, but it hit a wall when rival Periscope hit the scene. Periscope was later gobbled up by Twitter in a $100 million acquisition, spelling trouble for Meerkat.
Periscope started gaining ground and Twitter later enabled Periscope streaming straight from within its app, which pretty much put a death sentence on Meerkat.
Back in March of this year, Meerkat tried a change in strategy to keep its head above the water, shifting from live streaming to video social networking. The app's recent demise, however, now proves that its attempts went unsuccessful.
Life On Air co-founder Ben Rubin took to Twitter to announce Meerkat's demise, revealing that the app has been officially pulled from the app store.
We just removed Meerkat from the AppStore. bitter sweet moment seeing it go while celebrating @houseparty
— Ben Rubin (@benrbn) Sept. 30, 2016
The app's Google Play Store listing is no longer live either, its Twitter account is now set to private, while the Meerkat website directs users to Houseparty instead.
TechCrunch reached out to Rubin and found out that the move was actually a long time coming, the recent App Store removal is just the closing point.
"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 tells TechCrunch. "The category of broadcast (one-to-many) wasn't breaking as a daily habit...it's too far away from the everyday user," Rubin further explains.
Rubin adds that Houseparty, a new group video chat app from Life On Air, can better connect people and succeed where Meerkat did not. Houseparty is already gaining good traction on the market and could be the "everyday" app the company needs.
That's likely the "bittersweet" part: saying goodbye to Meerkat, which was a great hit in its glory days, but welcoming Houseparty, which could appeal to a larger user base and gain more daily average users (DAUs).
It remains to be seen how Houseparty will perform, but one thing's for sure: Meerkat is no more.