One of the most fascinating things about social media is how new players can literally come out of nowhere.
Who, for example, could have predicted Pinterest would be embraced so enthusiastically in a marketplace dominated by large, ubiquitous brands such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn?
Another example of a social media service that has attracted a huge audience is Keek, a free and easy-to-use service that lets people create and share 36-second video updates.
The Toronto-based company’s monthly traffic is impressive: 15 million unique visits, 75 million visitors, 1 billion pageviews and four million user-generated videos.
As well, it now has users around the world, including fast-growing communities in South America and the Middle East.
So why has Keek, which announced an $18-million financing deal last week, been so successful? Why has it been able resonate with people who have no lack of options?
Keek CEO Isaac Raichyk said the service was designed from the beginning to focus on driving dialogue between users, rather than being an entertainment tool.
“We see video as a communications tool to speak to your friends using video,” he said. “It is not about entertaining or video productions. If you like to create musical productions, you can use YouTube. Keek is a more personal, authentic dialogue. It is truly social video, and I believe that is what is making us so successful. The engagement is created because the product lends itself very easily creating dialogue around things that interest you.”
If you try to boil down Keek’s appeal is may come to a a key issue: the ability to easily and quickly let people do something that connects them with friends and family.
For all the talk about social media being about engagement and conversations, it is easy to forget that social media is a social medium.
It is the place where people connect with other people, which explains why Facebook has more than one billion users.
As much as brands are leveraging social media to build relationships with potential and existing customers, social media is driven by personal connections – something Keek facilitates in 36-second spots.
As Keek moves forward, it will be interesting to see how it starts to make money. Raichyk said Keek has been approached by brands and media buyers looking to advertise on Keek, which is not a surprise given its large user base. The question will be how Keek embraces advertising without changing the user experience.