Meerkat might be the app that started the live-streaming on phones trend. Released early last year, it quickly rose in popularity - even to the point of dominating that year's SXSW conference. But alas, Meerkat was not long for this world, and has officially been taken offline.

Life on Air, the company behind Meerkat, announced the shutdown on Twitter two days ago. The official reason for Meerkat's demise is for the company to focus on Houseparty, a group chatting application. Co-founder of Life on Air, Ben Rubin, spoke to TechCrunch about the shutdown:

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. The category of broadcast (one-to-many) wasn’t breaking as a daily habit…it’s too far away from the everyday user. 

The mission of our company has always been to connect people in the most human way possible while physically apart. Not only do we believe that Houseparty is a better manifestation of that vision, but also the market has shown us that too…spreading the app simply by word of mouth.

Another factor in Meerkat's demise was Periscope, Twitter's own mobile streaming application. Twitter intentionally crippled Meerkat, and after streaming from inside the Twitter app was possible, Meerkat's days were clearly numbered. I wish Life on Air the best of luck with Houseparty, and according to Ben Rubin, it is shaping up to be just as popular as Meerkat once was.