Despite their names, the apps Meerkat and Periscope have nothing to do with animals or submarines. 

“Do you know what Meerkating or Periscoping are?" said Balkin to a pedestrian.

"Pardon me?" said a man. 

Balkin: "Meerkating or Periscoping,".

Man: "I don’t know what you’re talking about,".

Balkin: "Never heard of it?". 

Man: "No,".

Well, here you go, you’re about to be in the know on the hot new trend in social networking. They’re social streaming apps meaning you can fire them up at any moment and instantly live stream whatever it is you’re doing. Kind of like being the host of your own live TV show.  As a viewer you can ask questions or submit comments live via a texting like interface. What’s the use in this and will it last? Well, who better to ask than the tech folks at Mashable, right now top of the charts among “app-casters”.

“I think what’s really kind of crazy and exciting is that we had Meerkat explode within the space of about two weeks and right on its heels Periscope shows up from Twitter which further sort of solidifies the idea that people are going to live stream video wherever they are," said Lance Ulanoff of Mashable.

Right now if you go on these services you see, a lot of boring stuff, like people making pizza or people just sitting around watching TV.  The occasional celebrity will pop in like Shaq or Jimmy Fallon but will there be enough compelling content on there that we’ll want to watch to make this more than just a passing fad?

“I think it’s been very popular with media, very popular with brands, very popular with celebrities, everyday people, not so much," said Ulanoff.

There are still loads of questions surrounding these services, among them, what happens when people try to stream copyrighted material, like a movie.  The other big one, can both of them survive?   Well, a commonly held belief within the tech industry is that one of them wins out because, among other things, most people don’t want to hunt on two separate services for the people they’d like to follow.