When a friend asked me about Keek, I thought they were asking about Kik, the messaging app. But Keek isn’t Kik and Kik isn’t Keek. Keek is a social media site and app focused on sharing short video clips. Think Facebook, but with video updates instead of text or photo updates. And oh yeah, little to no privacy. You may not have heard of Keek, but with 24 million users and growing, your tween or teen may be “keeking” already.
How Keek works
You sign up for Keek through your Facebook or Twitter profile, or by creating an account using your e-mail address.
Once you create a profile, you can share “keeks”, which are short video clips. You can record them from your computer using a webcam, upload a previously recorded video, or use the Keek mobile app to record and share a video.
When sharing, you can tag the video with a “kluster” which is basically a hashtag (such as #omg, #lookatme, and #wtf), thus making the video more visible to anyone viewing those klusters.
You are also prompted to share your videos on your social networks. You can turn this option off for each keek. One feature I did like here was that you could choose to post your video immediately, or save for later. Young keek users might want to save for later and stop to think “do I really want to post this?” before clicking the POST button.
As with other social networks, users can follow each other. When you follow a Keek user, their videos will show up in your stream. If they follow you, your videos will show up in your stream.
When you first log on, you’ll see categories for the most recent Keeks, most popular, featured, and the top 100 users. The top 100 users seem to be young celebrities and celebutantes. In fact 5 out of the top 10 were Kardashians and Jenners. You can also click on the klusters (hashtags). So right up front anyone viewing is exposed to a wide variety of videos. One day I visited, this included the ramblings of a young One Direction fan, a young woman inhaling from a cigarette and exhaling into her nose, and a friendly greeting from McKayla Maroney (the Olympic gymnast).
On other visits, I was greeted with these titillating options:
Another feature included with Keek is messaging. The messaging feature allows you to chat using video or text with up to 36 people at once. If someone sends you a message you can choose to block or allow the communication. So there is some control here if you are contacted by someone you don’t know.
Is there any Privacy with Keek?
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, there are no options for setting your account to private; that is, only allowing certain people to see it. According to the Keek FAQ page, this feature may be “coming soon”. If so that would be a plus.
Anyone who views your keek can choose to share it – by email, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. In the app version, there is an option to share on Instagram and Google+ (if you have them installed).
The only privacy options available are managing who can message you and who can add a “mention”. The default is to allow anyone, but you can change this to only allow those you’re following or subscribed to, or allow no one. You can also control who can comment on your keeks, and you can block users and report a keek as inappropriate.
Who is using Keek?
According to a June 2013 press release, Keek “surpassed 45 million users, making it the largest in the world with over 24 million new users joining in the last 4 months.” It was reported that “users posted more than 18 million keeks and over 2.2 billion videos were watched.”
So there certainly is interest here. As mentioned the majority of users I encountered were young – the oldest was 25. Likely your tween or teen has heard of Keek or will soon enough.
Should I let my child or teen use Keek?
Keek is one of the many popular “here I am, follow me, look at me do the mundane things in my life” sites/apps (like Instagram and Vine) that seem to be so popular now, especially with teens and young adults. It is also another site fueled by our society’s “celebrity” (I use the term loosely here) obsession. What is driving your teen to want to participate? I can’t speak for all parents but I know I’d be hesitant to allow my young teen to put glimpses of her life on display on the Internet, for anyone to see. Maybe I’ll revisit if and when private profiles become an option.