Five reasons 'Pretty Little Liars' star Keegan Allen is obsessed with Keek
At a January watch party for his show, Pretty Little Liars, Keegan Allen was sitting next to co-star Shay Mitchell just as his character was about to be revealed as the bad guy. It’s a moment that fans had been waiting for, and it’s one that Mitchell had yet to see. When Mitchell started to scream, Allen decided he had to capture the moment on film. But then what? Post the video to YouTube? Tweet it? No, he’d rather Keek it. After all, there’s a reason his friends once called him Keekan Allen.
For those of you who don’t know, Keek is another social media platform on which you can learn many, many things about the celebs you love (as well as friends and family, but where’s the fun in that?). For example, did you know that Allen likes bubble baths, playing the guitar and hanging around the house with his cats?
Launched as a website in 2011 and a mobile app in 2012, Keek is a “video-centric social network,” said Keek CEO Isaac Raichyk. When you join Keek, you create a profile, much like any other social media site, and then you begin creating keeks, which are videos that are a maximum length of 36 seconds. On Keek, you can follow others, you can subscribe to people’s feeds, and you can even comment on someone’s video with a video of your own, which is called a keekback. You can also follow what others are doing by checking out the trends, which are called klusters.
“The basic concept is something that’s fast like Twitter, social like Facebook but video-centric,” Raichyk said. And after gaining 6 million users in January alone, it looks like keeking is gaining popularity. But you don’t have to convince Allen, who has been involved since the site launched and currently has more than 200,000 followers.
So what is it about Keek that has Allen hooked?
1) Two degrees of separation: Allen stressed that he enjoys the idea of bringing the six degrees of separation between actors and their fans down to two degrees through the use of video and social media. Unless fans are sitting next to Allen on a couch, they won’t get much closer to him than Keek. “It’s interactive for our fans on a level that has never really been available before in our generation or generations before,” Allen said. “Keek is for interacting with people. It’s like video chatting but leaving video voicemails.”
2) It’s the new mall meet-and-greet: The cast of Pretty Little Liars recognized early on that social media was an easy and efficient way to connect with a young fan base. “We all collectively recognized that people were going to Twitter or going on social media venues to connect with us, and it was safe. Instead of us going to a meet-and-greet at a mall, we could literally go on social media and connect with individuals who were very passionate about the same things that we were passionate about: Pretty Little Liars,” Allen said.
3) It’s raw and safe: Keek separates itself from other video sites with both its time limit and its lack of editing. “You point, you shoot, you send it out,” Raichyk said. And that’s one of the things Allen loves about it: “Keek’s great because it’s so raw. You can just shoot what’s happening and then send it to the world.” But Allen also stressed that you don’t have to send it out to the world. There’s always the option of creating a private keek. “You can do private keeks, which are really in essence completely private. I love it, because it is really safe. They’ve done a really great job of keeping it secure,” Allen said.
4) Fan challenges: Allen loves to challenge his followers to Keek something and tag it for him to watch. As a reward for participating, he often follows his fans and sometimes even calls their personal cell phones. “I like to do these challenges where I’m like, ‘Hey I’ll call you on your personal phone,’ and I’ll call them and talk to them about the show, and then I’ll send them an autographed picture of everybody on the show, or I’ll send them a cool souvenir from the show or something like that,” Allen said.
5) Guilty pleasures: Like all social media, Keek is full of choices in terms of whom to follow. From the Kardashians to Allen’s co-stars Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell, even Allen has his guilty pleasures. “I spend a good amount of time on Keek to get ideas and keep up with the fans and keep up with the Kardashians,” Allen said.
Up next from Keekan Allen, his Keek followers can expect more philanthropy, a few pranks, possibly a behind-the-scenes video or two and maybe even a video where he talks to Toby, his character on Pretty Little Liars, about his recent betrayal. Regardless of what he’s doing, the self-defined social-media tease will see you on Keek … or so he told us.