You may be asking yourself how does Kik work and why do I keep hearing people talking about texting their friends on an app called Kik Messenger.
I’ll walk you through the basics of the app, along with features, tips, tricks, and a few words of caution about the popular and rapidly growing social media app. As with most things, the app is what you make of it and with prudent use and knowledge of the features, it can be a great way to stay in touch with friends all around the world.
I’ll present this article aimed toward two audiences, one is the person who has heard about Kik and just recently downloaded the app to text friends. The other audience is from the perspective of hearing their children or friends use Kik but don’t know what it’s used for and what to be cautious about.
I have lots of brothers and sisters, two of whom are younger than myself, so I rely on my phone, text messaging or e-mailing to stay in the loop and communicate when I’m away for big chunks of time.- Devon Aoki
What is Kik?
Kik Messenger is a texting and messaging app that was built for mobile devices. The app sends text messages over your local WiFi or cellular internet connection, providing you the opportunity to text friends, family, or meet new people from around the world without getting hit with large cell phone bills.
Kik is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, and Windows Phone. Unfortunately, Kik is not currently available for PC or Mac so you’ll have to stick with a mobile device unless you make use of an Android emulator.
The best part of Kik is that it’s completely free, with some in app purchases available. This is a great opportunity to keep costs down but not be limited by the number or location of who you’re texting.
Kik Messenger Features
You’ll notice that there are a ton of great features available for Kik that will allow you to not only text your friends but get a lot out of the app through the extras. The features include the following.
- You can send and receive photos in addition to text
- There is a feature to sketch a drawing and send it to your friend
- Kik is the only messaging app that has a fully functional built in web browser so you don’t need to leave the app to search for a restaurant to go to or look up who the 1993 Super Bowl Champs were.
- Unlike other messaging services, you can register simply by choosing a username. This keeps your email address and phone number private from people you text on Kik.
How To Get Kik
If you don’t already have Kik, I’ll walk you through the steps and provide some tips to get you started with the whole sign up process. Luckily, it’s pretty simple and doesn’t require you to enter in a credit card or a lot of personal information.
You will of course need either an iPhone, iPad, Android device, or a Windows Phone for this to work. You will also need an app store account to be able to download the app onto your phone or tablet.
- Head over to the app store and search for Kik Messenger. When it comes up, tap to install the app onto your device.
- Once downloaded and installed, tap the Kik icon and you’ll see an option to either login to an existing account or to create a new account. Tap the create a new account.
- You will be asked to enter in your first name and last name, as well as your email address. You will also need to have a Kik username and password to register. Make sure you have a backup username if the first one is already taken as there can only be one unique username per account.
- You can then upload a profile photo if you choose to and then tap register to finish.
TIP: You can now use Kik to text friends. Remember to sync your phone’s contact list with the Kik app. This will grab all of your contacts and see whether they have a Kik account. If they already do, then they will be added to your list of contacts so you don’t need to manually enter them.
Kik Messenger Privacy & Security
A common concern among parents and teenagers is the privacy and potential for abuse that has taken place on Kik Messenger. Unfortunately, the app has been used by predators with malicious intentions. As with any device that connects two people who have never met, there are certain safeguards that one must take to ensure their safety.
If you have a teen using Kik, it’s important to have a discussion on the dangers of talking to strangers on the app. I recommend only talking to people you know previously from meeting in person and blocking anyone that tries to message you that you’ve never met.
If you or someone you know is being harassed on Kik, block them immediately and report them to Kik using this link. If necessary, contact your local law enforcement to investigate the person in conjunction with Kik.
Ultimately, I believe Kik is a great app to text friends from around the world and stay connected in ways that weren’t possible 5 years ago. However, it must be used with caution and understanding of the risks.
I hope this guide answered your question of how does Kik work and got you off on the right track to get started texting friends. If you enjoyed this post, please share with friends and family.