Another day, another short video messaging service. The latest to enter the fray is Keek, which allows you to share “microvideo status updates” with friends and followers, either through the Keek website or through Android or iPhone mobile apps.
The new service has all the standard messaging options one might expect:
- Users can record their “keeks” from either a webcam or mobile app
- Upload them to the Keek website
- Share them through social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr
- Embed keeks on their own blogs or other sites
- Check out video status updates from other friends and followers on the service
- Send “keekbacks” (the equivalent of Twitter @ responses) or private “keeks” (direct messages)
- Use #hashtags and @mentions to highlight topics or other Keek users
Of course, Keek enters an already crowded space, with a number of sites and mobile app makers looking to become Twitter-like social networks for those inclined to use video instead of 140 characters of text. It follows services like Tout and Vloggo, which launched primarily to entice mobile users to upload short video clips, and VYou, which recently added an iPhone app and “status update” component to its service.
There are some very small and eccentric differences between all these services; for instance, while Tout limits messages to 15 seconds, Keek gives you a whole 36 seconds to work with. And Keek also has a 111-character limit on text descriptions.
But for all intents and purposes, Keek is also trying to build a community of people who want to share a small portion of their day with others. And it seems to be pretty popular with the kids; Keek CEO Isaac Raichyk said about 75 percent of the audience is between 13 and 25. Of course, catering to younger folks is always a double-edged sword. The children are our future, after all, but they’re also incredibly fickle and tend to switch services more easily than the older crowd.
So will it work? At this point, Keek probably has just about as much chance as any other nascent video messaging service. The site launched in August, but the company itself started about 15 months ago. Keek is based in Toronto and has about 30 employees.
Postscript. When asked by phone “Why 36 seconds, as opposed to, say, 30 or 45 or a minute?” Raichyk didn’t give a very satisfactory answer — something about having just the right amount of time to work with, but not too much. But just like when Tout launched with 11-second video messaging, it seems like a bit of arbitrary mumbo jumbo to me. Like that scene in There’s Something About Mary when the hitchhiker tries to explain how his seven-minute ab workout is superior to eight-minute abs — but six-minutes abs would be way too little! But I digress.