Along with the rise of convenience in the digital “instant message,” video chatting from smartphones and mobile devices has now become immensely popular. Noteworthy applications such as FaceTime and Kik Messenger have opened up a wide breadth of possible communication avenues, whether you want to send a few lines of text, or use smartphone cameras to carry on a conversation with someone as if you’re literally face-to-face. As the quality of technology that we carry around in our pockets has increased (and become more affordable every year), the frequency with which we rely on this type of communication is only going to increase.
With these new trends in digital messaging comes a slew of questions from users that want to do more with their existing apps. Kik Messenger has millions of daily users and is a landmark messaging app in terms of both the features that it offers, as well as the number of people that have embraced it for their day-to-day activities. Kik does not, however, have every feature, and so users turn to apps like FaceTime in order to satisfy their video chat needs.
Why the preference for video chat, in the face of text messaging’s well-reputed ease? When it comes to friends and acquaintances you’re more familiar with, having a face to face conversation can be wholly more intimate than the sparse ambiguity of texts. While messaging on a platform such as Kik is about as convenient and quick as you could ask for an online messaging service, the ability to see the facial expression of the person you’re chatting with, and watch the world around them–no matter where they are–is an unparalleled benefit that comes along with apps such as FaceTime.
One frequent question that’s often asked by smartphone and mobile device users is, “Can I FaceTime through Kik Messenger?”
The easy, less satisfying answer is no. A host of technical limitations–the greater of which is that they’re two separate apps–prevent this from being possible. However, the simple answer doesn’t address the alternatives to a Kik/FaceTime crossover experience, of which they are actually several! First, I’ll identify and explain the reasons that you cannot use Facetime through Kik Messenger.
After, I’ll describe a few alternative options that are open to users of each service. This will provide you with the best avenues by which to move forward–and the best part is, they’re free!
FaceTime is a life saver for relationships and for family.- Erika Christensen
Why Can’t I Facetime on Kik?
As stated before, the ultimate answer to this question rests on the fact that Kik Messenger and FaceTime are two separate apps that aren’t designed to integrate with each other. They can certainly exist on the same mobile platform and on the same device. They cannot, however, automatically share the list of contacts and other users by which each determines who you can chat with, by video and otherwise. Because these apps don’t integrate, there isn’t a way for them to access the resources necessary to send messages on each other’s platforms.
If that still seems complicated, it suffices to say that the two apps are incompatible. Moreover, Kik can be used on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone (and even Windows PCs and Macs with an emulator!) FaceTime, on the other hand, is only compatible with iOS. This means that only devices running Apple’s mobile operating system (which, at large, means “only Apple devices”) can run the FaceTime app.
You can see where this is beginning to go. Kik Messenger is everywhere. FaceTime, even though it’s a strong, capable app, is only available on iOS. This means that, even if the two were somehow compatible, users on Android and Windows Phone would be several steps behind iOS in terms of capability, simply because they don’t have access to FaceTime.
For these reasons and the complications that come along with proprietary software, we’re unlikely to ever see compatibility between FaceTime and Kik Messenger. This does not, however, mean that you don’t have alternatives!
What Can I Do Instead?
I’ve never found it useful, being told, “No, you can’t do that,” without being provided some alternative. Fortunately, for users that are looking for video-chat solutions have plenty of directions to turn. Also fortunate is the fact that every solution that I’ll provide and describe is free, and can be accessed on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone.
The only unfortunate part of this conclusion is that only one solution allows you to remain within Kik Messenger. However, since that would be the most preferable we’ll begin with this option and then briefly explore some of the alternative apps that you can use to video chat.
Video Messages in Kik
Part of FaceTime’s appeal is its ability to connect you with another person in real time, with only a minor delay between what you say and what the person on the other end of the line hears. The goal is to provide you with a digital chat experience that’s as close to “face-to-face” communication as possible. Unfortunately, even though Kik Messenger features a lightning-quick message delivery system, the chat application doesn’t yet have the ability to stream video conversations between two users.
The alternative then is to use the Kik app’s native ability to capture video to send a video message, rather than have a video chat with constant uptime. Will it be the same experience as using FaceTime? Absolutely not, since you can only record video in batches of 15 seconds before sending it to your recipient. Imagine it much the same as text messaging, but with a video attached to it.
In order to access this, simply tap the little “+” icon to the left of the message entry bar, where you’d usually type a chat message. From there, you can access your device’s camera, and set it from “still capture” mode to “video.” This is rather simple in execution, and it will certainly allow you to send video messages to other Kik users. It will not, however, replace the convenience of FaceTime.
Thought it would be preferable to do all of your messaging and communication through Kik Messenger, you won’t be able to do so if you’re looking to replicate the FaceTime experience. If you’re using an Android device or Windows phone, you’re going to be left with few options apart from looking into competing application platforms.
The first that I would swiftly recommend is Skype. It’s free to download, free to access, and can actually almost keep up with the FaceTime app in terms of video chat capabilities. Skype might not work as swiftly or simply as FaceTime, but it’s actually a fully-developed communications suite on its own, and users have been conversing through it for several years now. It runs natively on any mobile device or computer, which makes it the most viable option as a replacement for FaceTime. For many, especially those who want to video chat from a desktop or laptop computer, Skype is even far preferable to FaceTime.
There are other noteworthy options as well. Popular chat applications such as Google Hangouts and IMO Messenger do feature video chat settings that will allow you to have one-on-one, real-time conversations with another person. Both are also free, and will work on any platform that you decide to download and run them on. As with Skype, each is a fully-featured messaging app that will do a lot more than simply open up video options that are lacking in Kik.
They are, however, lacking many of the features that make Kik a preferable messaging option. None of them have the integrated web browser or promoted chats that users have come to enjoy in Kik Messenger. Also frustrating is the need to connect with your contacts individually on any video messaging platform that you choose to use. Since Kik doesn’t share a contact list with the device that you’re running it on, setting up a video chat with your Kik friends will require each of you finding the other on a separate chat application. Since privacy should always be one of your foremost concerns when using any online chat function, exercise caution when sharing contact details with another person!
Here are some other video chat apps you might want to check out:
While it doesn’t offer the most preferred situation–a real-time video chat option in Kik Messenger–the above alternatives will open up a free avenue of video chat that’s just as accessible as Kik itself. Though you’ll have to jump through a few hoops in order to get access to your Kik friends on a different chat platform, the convenience and fun of video chat can certainly make it worth your while.
As the number of Kik Messenger users continues to grow, we can always hold out hope that the popular chat program will one day integrate a real-time video chat system. Until then, since Kik and FaceTime are incompatible, we’ll have to make the best with what we have! Do you have experiences of your own, finding Kik friends on separate chat platforms in order to achieve that “FaceTime” feel instead of simple messaging? Chime in through the comment section, below!