Kik Messenger: Greatest App You Never Heard Of

By The Myers Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Kik Messenger: Greatest App You Never Heard Of

A hundred million users already know what Kik is. Do you? Kik Messenger is similar to BlackBerry's Messenger and iPhone's iMessage. Unlike other applications that serve both computers and smartphones, Kik Messenger is an instant messaging system made just for mobile users.

Most iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian operating systems offer the Kik Messenger application free. Kik Messenger sports some attractive features, such as ad-free messaging across different operating systems, no messaging fees, customizable notification options, and offline messages. The individual and group chat features are fun for friends and family members and useful for professional conferences. No messaging system would be complete without pictures, so the developers at Kik Interactive added that too. One of the major benefits of Kik Messenger is that it uses the smartphone's data plan or Wi-Fi to transmit data, sparing the user expensive text messaging rates. With a free download, fast connections, and lower text messaging rates, Kik Messenger is becoming one ofkikthe hottest apps in 2014.

The beta version of Kik Messenger hit the market in April of 2010 and parent company Kik Interactive released the official version in October of that year. It took only 15 days for to Kik Interactive to register its first million Kik Messenger users. Growth continued at a tremendous rate for this little upstart. By April 2012, there were 10 million Kik Messenger users. Just a few months later, Kik Messenger became the top-downloaded free social app in iTunes. One year later, in April of 2013, Kik Messenger had registered 50 million unique users. Today, the app has been downloaded into more than 100 million smartphones. Unlike other phone apps, Kik Messenger and its features are fast, even on slower connections. This greatly enhances the usability of smartphones, which can otherwise be frustratingly slow on sluggish connections.

Kik Messenger is not only fast, it feels as powerful as a conventional PC browser. Kik Interactive recently introduced Kik Cards, which feature built-in HTML5 that allows users to search for, send and enjoy YouTube videos, create sketches and memes, locate and share Reddit pics, GIFs and other images without ever leaving the Kik platform or downloading new software. Its chat features allows up to nine people in a single conversation, a capability unheard of in other smartphone messaging platforms.

Kik Messenger now even works on Kindles. Kik Interactive updated their Android version of the app so that it works on Kindle Fire versions Fire OS 1.0 or later. Kindle Fire Tablet users can download the Kik Messenger app from the Amazon App store.

A group of students from University of Waterloo founded Kik Interactive in 2009. The students' focus was to develop new technologies for use on smart phones only, which the students predict will dominate future communication and computing technologies. RRE, Spark Capital & Union Square Ventures backed Kik Messenger with Round A funding.

Kik Messenger is widely available. Users of iOS 6.0 and later can get the app from iTunes/App Store. Google Play Store has Kik Messenger for Android 2.2 and later while the Amazon Appstore has Kik for Fire OS 1.0 and later. Windows Phone 7 users can go to the Windows Phone Store, of course, while Nokia users should go to Ovi Store. BlackBerry OS 4.6 – 7 users can download the app directly from kik.com.

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