Live video is a popular trend in many apps, especially social. While the craze has long been popular in Asia, it was only recently that U.S.-based apps began taking notice of the potential for increased user engagement and monetization live video could bring. As a result, many platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, are actively experimenting with live video.
But MeetMe isn’t your average social networking app. Part dating app and part social discovery, the mission of MeetMe is to meet the universal need for human connection among people all over the world. To accomplish this goal, the developers behind MeetMe realized they needed to incorporate a new feature that would allow users to feel even more connected to the app and its growing community, so they turned to live video.
MeetMe users no longer have to rely on a static picture, profile page or text chat to learn more about a potential new friend or date; they can interact and chat in real time through live video. To bring the “Live” feature to fruition, MeetMe needed an end-to-end interactive broadcasting solution that could expand its social networking functionalities while also increasing user engagement, stickiness, and monetization.
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For Geoff Cook, Co-founder and CEO of The Meet Group, experiencing live video is like attending a live show.
“ Think of the live band that plays at your local coffee shop and how that entertainment adds to the overall social experience. It’s dynamic and it’s happening right now. That’s what live video is to MeetMe —
Geoff Cook, Co-founder and CEO of The Meet Group ”
The key functionality of Live is the live streaming video, which enables users to broadcast themselves and watch other broadcasts, invite others to join their streams, and chat with users in real time.
Users can also send their favorite broadcasters virtual gifts. This community engagement enhances the user experience, increases user stickiness, and drives actual transactions, so the live video stream must be high quality and reliable no matter the user’s device, location, or network condition.
To ensure a flawless broadcast and a truly engaging live video experience, MeetMe utilizes Agora’s Voice & Video APIs for crystal clear video with extremely low latency on a proven network that powers 10 billion minutes of real-time communications each month for users all across the globe.
When MeetMe started rolling out its Live feature in March 2017, users across the U.S. and around the world were quick to adopt the newest feature. As it expanded its reach through live video, MeetMe relied on Agora’s RTC technology to support its growth.
Importantly, Agora’s live broadcasting solution can support nearly an unlimited number of participants with no loss in video quality and integrity. But there are also the uncontrollable factors of scaling a user base to consider, including geography, hardware, and network conditions, all of which can impact the user experience at the individual level. To address potential issues, Agora deployed its own proprietary virtual network that dynamically routes data to the most optimal paths across 160+ data centers worldwide, meaning users experience the same high-quality video no matter where they are.
An easy-to-deploy solution with out-of-the-box functionality was important for The Meet Group when considering live video technology.
“We already had a dedicated user base, so we wanted to make sure when we launched Live the experience was as seamless as possible. Agora’s API was simple to integrate and only took about two weeks to install. The support we received for WebRTC was also a plus,” Cook explained.
Agora’s real-time communications solution provides MeetMe with high-quality video through an easy-to-use API interface. Developers can quickly and easily modify the video and audio features of the app based on the app’s individual user experiences or the number of users.
The success of MeetMe’s Live feature has led The Meet Group to implement Live Video in its other applications, including Tagged, Skout, and Lovoo, As of April 2018, live video is contributing around $29 million in annualized revenue to The Meet Group.
Since introducing Live, MeetMe has seen significant user engagement. As of early April, over 25% of MeetMe’s mobile daily active users take advantage of live video daily, and across all of their apps on the shared video platform the totals resulted in 4 million minutes of live video broadcasted and 10 million minutes streamed daily.
User monetization and user satisfaction have also surged as a result of live video. According to Cook, an internal survey revealed that users who use live video are more likely to recommend MeetMe to a friend and feel less lonely and bored. In addition to live broadcasting, Agora also provides MeetMe with the following advantages:
- Crystal clear, end-to-end quality of experience—backed by 160 globally distributed data centers, 15 patents pending, and innovative network-transmission algorithms
- Premium HQ, ultra wide-band, real-time communication capabilities from codecs built from the ground up for mobile
- Fast and easy implementation requiring no more than a few lines of code
- Industry-tested experience with billions minutes of crystal-clear, voice and video communications powered monthly
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