Is Anyone Using Kik Messenger?

It took Kik just 15 days to boast 1 million users on their messaging platform, which is rather impressive. If you stack Kik and BBM side-by-side, BBM destroys Kik in every category except one: cross platform messaging. Kik is a hot new enhanced messaging platform that runs on BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android. One of the unique features of Kik is the Facebook-like feature that helps you discover your friends on Kik, almost automatically.

When Robb and I first talked about Kik, he ripped me apart when I suggested Kik could be a BBM replacement. I realized 15 minutes into his monologue that I had crossed some line in the sand, or maybe I had found the Achilles heel of Blackberry; I really don’t know which, but it was pretty funny. In reality, I don’t see Kik so much as a replacement, rather more a supplement to communicate with friends on other platforms. You will not be able to send video/pictures/files, change status, update profile images, scan barcodes, ping, group chat or a host of other BBM features. What you will get is the ability to have free messaging with all your friends, regardless of platform. When I think about it that way, maybe Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo, AOL or any other IM client are decent alternative. But, you have to go where your friends are. And right now, they are flocking in droves to Kik. And keep in mind, this app is young, very young.

As Kik is growing at an insane rate, I can only suspect that they will start to add many of the features that make BBM an incredible experience. I am not sure if Kik is as big of a threat as something like Facebook Messaging might be. Robb mentioned this point around minute 22 in his monologue, and it is a rather good point. Then again who is delaying the delivery of Kik messages on BlackBerry devices?

The real threat Kik presents will be seen when almost all of your friends are available on Kik. More importantly, when your current BBM contacts use both Kik and BBM. At that point, the classic argument, I have some people I can only communicate with on BBM will fade away. Even with less features this could easily present a 80/20 rule and have people start breaking allegiance to BBM. Or I could just be full of it. I am sure you will tell me.

Is anyone out there using Kik? Robb said I would get blasted for saying this so let me have it.

Comments

  1. RJ says

    Seemed like a good app…just because all of my BBM contacts have jumped ship and gone to Android. D/L it…and uninstalled it in 24 hours. Lots of bugs, probably because of the # of users. Took msgs hours to send, some would send and show as read when they werent etc… I’ll stick with SMS for now. Cool app though, hope it developes into more down the road.

  2. says

    RIM shouldn’t be worried about Apple, they should be worried about Kik… Just a little FYI, Kik’s CEO/CTO coder extraordinaire came from RIM – and how I understand it was a high level BBM coder, he gets it. From some of the interviews I have read, the underlying architecture will allow Kik to do things that BBM can only dream of.

  3. Frank says

    I downloaded Kik and think its garbage. I know its free, but its a poor effort at best. WhatsApp is much better in my opinion and closer to what we have with BBM. I think Rod has mentioned this before, but I think RIM should just go ahead and release BBM to everyone. Maybe this way they can entice people to come over from other platforms.

    • says

      I use Kik on Android and would agree the BB version is not exactly pretty. I would love to see BBM as a monthly subscription app on Android, iPhone, Windows Phone but this may mean a % of RIM’s users would just switch as BBM is the only thing keeping them loyal. There has to be some trade off that could use BBM to bring user to BlackBerry. Hard problem to solve when other will provide the same service for free.

    • says

      I had a friend look at the survey and asked…did I miss any valid option? It is so painfully obvious when someone points it out. Sorry about that one. So you felt is was that bad or was the issue with privacy?

  4. ja2b says

    Yeah boy! I’m Kik’n it on my BB and iPhone. Just to test it out, I did a chat with someone on a BB with the iPhone and its good for what it is. When I went back to the BB, it closed out the iPhone session. So, you can’t use both at the same time. Once you log in via one, it logs you out of the other. To the person saying WhatsApp is better, it might be, but this one is FREE. It will be hard to convince others to go pay for an app to replace/supplement a free one (bbm). Beta was better than VHS. HD-DVD, according to some, was better than Blu-ray. But, we all know how those turned out. Word of mouth, FB Likes and status msgs about Kik are very high right now. There are several articles on the app today alone. I saw the momentum starting last week (knew about Kik since June and glad they relaunched and retooled how they were doing it) when a friend posted in their FB on it. They are a former BB user and moved to Android. If they continue to improve the app and make it bbm-like, it may even replace bbm soon. How they will make money is another story.

    • says

      The single sessions concept is nice. I have Google Talk and nothing is worse then getting notified on my phone, in GMail, and via Google Talk client.

      I was talking to several friends that have corporate plans and their first comment was I don’t pay for SMS so free text messaging does not really matter to me. I am in the same boat but I don’t see Kik as just a free SMS client.

      I can only imagine they will put ads on this product or hope to sell the product and user base to another company.

      • ja2bk says

        I think the oft overlooked use, for Kik and BBM alike, is for international communication. There is always the “what about AIM, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, WindowsLive” argument, but they overlook the simplicity of talking to everyone with one login (no, multiple logins to various IM services via one app do not count as one login). I stopped using multiple IM services because I don’t want to be logged in to several at once. No need to know if they use AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, etc.

        What makes Kik as appealing as, if not more than, BBM is you no longer need to know if your friend has _____ device or uses ____ IM service.

  5. ja2bk says

    I’m Kik’n it on my BB and iPhone. Just to test it out, I did a chat with someone on a BB with the iPhone and its good for what it is. When I went back to the BB, it closed out the iPhone session. So, you can’t use both at the same time. Once you log in via one, it logs you out of the other. To the person saying WhatsApp is better, it might be, but this one is FREE. It will be hard to convince others to go pay for an app to replace/supplement a free one (bbm). Beta was better than VHS. HD-DVD, according to some, was better than Blu-ray. But, we all know how those turned out. Word of mouth, FB Likes and status msgs about Kik are very high right now. There are several articles on the app today alone. I saw the momentum starting last week (knew about Kik since June and glad they relaunched and retooled how they were doing it) when a friend posted in their FB on it. They are a former BB user and moved to Android. If they continue to improve the app and make it bbm-like, it may even replace bbm soon. How they will make money is another story.

  6. says

    Don’t see what all the fuss is about because SMS (yes, except for international) is the way most people will communicate. What Kik doesn’t take into account is that friends without smartphones have no way to communicate with you.

    What’s really needed is a more universal messenger that could mix instant messaging with SMS.

    Also these types of Instant Messengers are good for people who have no SMS plan — however with many US based plans starting to include unlimited SMS I have to wonder if Instant Messenger workarounds to avoid SMS fees are a quaint reminder of days past.

    I checked this out and probably because of the heavy adoption found that the service was alternately fast and really laggy.

    • says

      Your point of a universal messenger that could mix IM with SMS is interesting as Windows Live does this today.

      I remember talking to a group of kids and they liked using BBM because their parents did not see how many messages they sent per month. That could be why this is popular with the younger crowd.

      I will agree with you on the bugs but the lag is the worst on the BB devices. It took 38 min to get a message to a BB friend but iPhone and Android was instant. I guess that is why Kik sent out the message several days back…who knows.

    • ja2bk says

      What is truly needed is restructuring of SMS/MMS charges. It doesn’t cost carriers much , but yet they charge for it in a manner as if it does. At the very least we should get free incoming SMS/MMS and it should be irrespective of domestic or international. So, an unlimited plan should yield you unlimited SMS/MMS full stop.

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