Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Macro-updates: Is there room for long-form in social media?

Is the future of social media more rapping videos on services like Keek from young people like sarahjenkinsxo, or perhaps something with a little more depth?

Screengrab from

Canadian-based startup Keek is having a very good week. The company just announced that they received $5.5-million in financing, not bad for a business that's banking on the future of microvideos. The start-up describes themselves as a YouTube and Twitter hybrid. Users can send out a 36-second short video message (or "keek") easily captured on web cameras and smartphones to people in their network.

While I definitely see a younger demographic, it's targeted primarily at the under-24 audience, flocking to services such as Keek, I find myself longing for more depth in social media. I use and love Twitter, and I'm notorious for changing my Facebook status several times a day, but I'm hungry for new social experiences that make me think and, apologies for my idealism here, make this world a better place.

I am seeing glimpses, movements and signs that perhaps brevity isn't always best in social media. For starters, I'm spending more time on Google+. Since there is no character limit it's easy to edit past posts, and with its helpful commenting plug-ins my circle of friends tends to write thoughtful updates and feedback chock full of compelling content (not always, but often).

Story continues below advertisement

In regards to Facebook, I'm excited about the introduction of Timelines. I've enabled my own digital history (which requires registering as an app developer) and it's been a treat to dive into my past on the world's most popular social network as I revisit key moments, photos and experiences.

Facebook is also working to move beyond the "Like" button to create more meaningful interactions. With its Open Graph technology users will be able to use apps to further describe an experience with a media or lifestyle brand. In other words, instead of just saying I like Kraft, I could say that I am cooking a Kraft recipe and share my story about making a meal for my family in one quick click. This isn't the most in-depth social media development, but it's inching towards the concept that more is more (not less).

Late this summer I wrote of Chipotle's animated YouTube film, a two-minute public service announcement of sorts about the benefits of sustainable farming. With more than a million views, it's proof that there is an audience for more socially responsible content online and assurance that it can come in many different forms, including video.

I'm not trying to beat up on Keek. I can see how late teens and twenty-somethings will love sending video messages to friends. I understand that there is always an audience for cute girls on web cams, singing rap songs to digital admirers. Perhaps I am just being greedy, as I am sometimes overwhelmed with the fleeting nature of the social stream. While micro-updates surely make it easy to browse through a sea of posts, I think we'll see an audience for macro-updates grow as mature surfers strive to find more meaning in social media.

Report an error
About the Author
Social Media Blogger

Amber MacArthur is a new media consultant, speaker, and journalist. As co-founder of agency, her team has managed social media initiatives for Tony Robbins, Canada Goose, Rogers, the American Dental Association, among other organizations. She is also an exclusive speaker with The Lavin Agency where she keynotes dozens of conferences across North America every year. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.