A Toronto-based social network based on 36-second videos sees a new partnership with Facebook as the path to more business-to-business deals and earning money off in-app purchases.

Facebook made specific mention of Keek during the keynote of its F8 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. It was unveiling its expansion of Facebook Messenger into a platform that supported third-party app integration, and listed several developers that it worked with in the pilot phase of the project. All of the supported apps are now listed in the Messenger Showcase. After Keek’s name was dropped, its stock soared – from about $0.80 per share on the Canadian Venture Exchange to $2.30 at one point, before levelling out at about $1.50.

“We were invited by the Facebook Messenger team to be one of the first to participate in the launch of the new platform,” says Lin Dai, chief marketing officer at Keek. “You can actually create a Keek video and share it with your friends on Facebook.”

Until now only users of the dedicated Keek app could create the site’s signature 36-second videos. Now users of a new app, Keek for Messenger, will be able to create the videos and share it directly with contacts on Facebook. Users of Messenger will be able to install Keek’s new app seamlessly, without leaving the Messenger user interface. The next step could be creating revenue by selling users in-app purchases in the form of premium features such as different video filters or editing capabilities.

“We are actively working with the Facebook team to find an in-app purchase model for the Keek for Messenger product,” Dai says. “We will do it on a revenue sharing deal in the future.”

Keek in Messenger showcase

Many of Keek’s 74 million users are in the millennial demographic. That may be part of its appeal for Facebook. As younger users of Facebook seek to avoid the watchful eye of their parents that are also using the social network, they’re seeking out communications options that offer more privacy.

“We’ve enhanced our app’s private messaging capability ourselves and this is the second step,” Dai says. Facebook is “actively working with a lot of third-party developers that can reach the younger audience. We are on target.”

Keek also sees it as an opportunity to expand into the business-to-business market. After all, it has a data centre primed for a service that’s difficult to deliver.

“Not a lot of companies out there can build something to scale that allows for millions of video profiles to be created and shared at the same time, but we have that,” Dai says. Imagine the applications for a dating service, she gives as an example.

For now Keek will be using its data centre to process new users discovering its app from Facebook Messenger. The instant messaging app has 600 million users, according to Facebook.

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