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Hype cycles: taking tech journalists to task for Meerkat

By , on March 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm

If you’re in a cynical mood or just feeling a bit exhausted by another cycle of tech-journalism hype, treat yourself to this piece by Tero Kuittinen on Meerkat and Periscope (or, more succinctly, how there really is no Meekat): 

 calls out what he considers to be lazy reporting by a set of unnamed tech journalists that hyped up Meerkat as a major phenomenon, even though, as an app, it was never actually that popular. Some choice snippets from the piece:

The ugly truth that U.S. tech media has declined to mention even in passing is that Meerkat had never been a hit to begin with. All those breathless media reports about “the hot new app” and “the break-out app” were deeply misleading at best — and cynical legerdemain at worst.


Meerkat’s “success” was the creation of a handful of West Coast tech bloggers who managed to lure major newspapers into covering a phenomenon that did not exist.


Almost precisely one year later, the same crew of tech “journalists” who proclaimed Secret would be massively influential, declared Meerkat the next huge social media app. With almost supernatural synchronicity, Meerkat has just peaked at No. 140 on the U.S. iPhone download chart and gone into a heart-stopping tailspin after raising a ton of money from credulous investors.

That’s a whole lot of ouch. And a not-so-subtle reminder to take business-press enthusiasm about trends without corresponding data with appropriate amounts of caution.

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Categories: Industry News