Kik Messenger

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Kik Messengers
Kik Messenger logo.png
Kik Messenger screenshot.png
Kik Messenger running on Android Lollipop
Initial release October 19, 2010; 5 years ago (2010-10-19)
Stable release 8.7.0 / July 28, 2015
Development status Active
Operating system iOS 6.0 or later, Android, Windows Phone
Available in English
Type Instant Messaging Client, Web Browser
License Proprietary freeware

Kik Messenger is a free instant messenger application for mobile devices from Kik Interactive, available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone operating systems.[1] Kik Messenger is modeled after BlackBerry Messenger.[2] It uses a smartphone's data plan or Wi-Fi to transmit and receive messages, photos, videos, sketches, mobile webpages, and other content after users register a username.[3]


Founded in 2009, Kik Interactive is the work of a group of students from the University of Waterloo who wished to create new technologies to be used on mobile smartphones.[4] Kik Messenger is the first app developed by Kik.

Kik Interactive released Kik Messenger on October 19, 2010.[5][6] Within 15 days, Kik Messenger reached one million user registrations, with Twitter being credited as a catalyst for the new application's popularity.[7]

On November 24, 2010, Research In Motion removed Kik Messenger from BlackBerry App World and limited the functionality of the software for its users.[8] It also sued the company for copyright infringement.[9] In October 2013, Blackberry and Kik settled the lawsuit, with the terms undisclosed.[10]

On October 1, 2014, Kik, Sony Records and IPG Media Lab were given a Smarties award by the Mobile Marketing Association for their global music marketing campaign with One Direction.[11]

In November 2014, Kik announced a $38.3 million Series C funding round and its first acquisition, buying GIF Messenger "Relay". The funding is from Valiant Capital Partners, Millennium Technology Value Partners, and SV Angel. Kik has raised a total of $70.5 million to date.[12]

There are rumors that Kik will be available on PC but it has not been officially released.[13] Though, by using an Android Emulator, Kik Messenger is accessible on PC.

In December 2015, Kik reached 240 million registered users.[14]

In March 2015, Kik announced that it would begin using Microsoft's PhotoDNA Cloud Service to automatically detect and report the distribution of child exploitation images. The proposed child exploitation tool will only remove and scan for known child pornography that exists in an international database. The new tools will not be able to screen messages from pedophiles who may be engaging in child grooming. In addition, Kik announced that the company joined the Virtual Global Taskforce, a partnership between businesses, child protection agencies, and international police services to combat online child abuse.[15]

Kik also uses a feature that blurs messages from strangers so that users must opt in to view content sent by people outside their network. If they determine content or users are objectionable, they can delete or block those users.[16]

In April 2015, Kik introduced a full-screen in-chat browser that allows users to find and share content from the web.[17]

In June 2015, Kik introduced another feature in which you can now send previously recorded videos in Kik Messenger for Android and iOS.

August 16, 2015 - Kik receives $50 million investment from Chinese Internet giant Tencent,[18] earning the company a billion dollar valuation. CEO Ted Livingston stated the investment was "purely financial" in nature.[18]

In September 2015, Kik introduced a new feature called Kik Codes, making it easier for users to start chatting with a user or join a group chat.[19] This gives each user a unique Kik Code, similar to a QR code, that other users can take a picture of to quickly start a chat with them.


On November 4, 2014, Kik scored 1 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's secure messaging scorecard. Kik received a point for encryption during transit but lost points because communications are not encrypted with a key the provider does not have access to, users cannot verify contacts' identities, past messages are not secure if the encryption keys are stolen, the code is not open to independent review, the security design is not properly documented, and there has not been a recent independent security audit.[20][21] AIM, BlackBerry Messenger, Ebuddy XMS, Hushmail, Skype, Viber, and Yahoo Messenger also scored 1 out of 7 points.[20]


Child exploitation is prominent on Kik Messenger,[22][23][24][25][26] and during 2014 a pedophile told The Trentonian newspaper: "I could go on it now and probably within 20 minutes have videos, pictures, everything else in between off the app because I know they're both still active. That's where all the child porn is coming off of."[27] Similarly, in 2015 another pedophile stated: "The first thing that I thought was, 'Wow! I can be whoever I want to be. I can get anybody I want. I can achieve my sexual glorification through this app.'"[28]

Automated spam bots have been used to distribute explicit images and text over Kik Messenger.[29][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How do I get the Kik app". 
  2. ^ Eichelberg, Amy (April 29, 2012). "Android App of the Day: Kik Messenger". The Unlockr. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Is Kik Free?". 
  4. ^ "About". 
  5. ^ "Kik Messenger Gets off to a Good Start After October Relaunch". ThirdAge. November 4, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ "KiK Messenger, free messages for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry". Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ Motorola il iDEN. "Kik Messenger app blows past 1 million users". Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ "RIM bloque une application concurrente A son service BlackBerry Messenger - ActualitAŠs Techno-AŠconomie - TAŠlAŠcoms et mobilitAŠ". Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  9. ^ SILCOFF, JACQUIE MCNISH AND STEVE LADURANTAYE, SEAN (September 27, 2013). "Inside the fall of BlackBerry: How the smartphone inventor failed to adapt". The Globe and Mail Inc. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ Simone, Rose (October 9, 2013). "Kik eager to move on after settling spat with BlackBerry". The Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Smarties. Congratulations to our winners". MMA. October 1, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ Russell, Jon November 19, 2014 TechCrunch. "Chat App Kik Raises $38M And Makes Its First Acquisition, Buying GIF Messenger Relay"
  13. ^ "Kik Messenger is not available for PC". April 5, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  14. ^ Retrieved December 26, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "For fast-growing chat apps like Waterloo's Kik, child exploitation a pervasive threat". Globe and Mail. 
  16. ^ "Kik Messenger's smart new safety features". ConnectSafely. 
  17. ^ "Kik Introduces An In-Chat Browser For Its Mobile Messaging App". TechCrunch. 
  18. ^ a b George-Cosh, David. "Tencent Invests $50 Million in Messaging App Kik". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Kik Codes launch on Kik Messenger, making it easier to connect with people | TruTower". TruTower. Retrieved 2015-12-17. 
  20. ^ a b "Secure Messaging Scorecard. Which apps and tools actually keep your messages safe?". Electronic Frontier Foundation. November 4, 2014. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Only 6 Messaging Apps Are Truly Secure". PC Magazine. November 5, 2014. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Police Issue Warning About Child Predators Using Kik App". 21Alive. 
  23. ^ Steven Raeburn. "Kik social media platform draws police warning". The Drum. 
  24. ^ "Parents be Warned against Kik App Used by Teens, Police Say". International Business Times AU. December 2, 2013. 
  25. ^ "National News Headlines - Latest Breaking News". 
  26. ^ Harve Jacobs (December 5, 2013). "Live 5 Investigates: Predators using Kik messenger phone app - - The News for South Mississippi". 
  27. ^ "Pedophile on Kik app: ‘It's well known in our industry’". 
  28. ^ "Sexual predator warns parents about 'kik' app". WTNH. 
  29. ^ Julia Wong (February 7, 2014). "Students, parents warned about explicit spam messages on Kik Messenger". Global News. 
  30. ^ "Albertans complain Kik messenger spam bot sending sexual messages". March 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]