It is true that Kik Messenger has been around for quite some time now. It is also true that there are a lot of other instant messaging apps available. However, Kik Messenger continues to be popular and it gains plenty of new users everyday around the world. Some users regularly ask themselves: what is Kik Messenger’s future?
A good way to try to understand how bright Kik Messenger’s future could be is, paradoxically, by looking back to Kik Messenger’s history so far. Since 2009, Kik Messenger has gone a long way. If you were a Kik Messenger user that has been on the app since those early days, you would probably remember how much the instant messaging app has improved over the last few years. What follows are some of the main milestones in the Kik Messenger short but intense history:
- In 2009, Kik Messenger was launched as a mobile app by a group of students from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
- In 2011, Kik Messenger also became a chat platform with integrated apps. In late 2011, several chats that integrated Kik were launched for Android and iPhone. They included Zwonks, FlyScreen, Smiler, DrinkOwl, and FileKicker. These were all different apps that were enabled to work with Kik Messenger.
- In 2012, Kik Messenger launched Kik Cards. These cards were designed to allow Kik Messenger users to enhance their chats by giving them the possibility to searching for and sharing YouTube videos with other users, create sketches, search and share images with other users, all without having to do any more downloads.
- Early in 2014, Kik Messenger launched its own browser. This was a great development for the instant messaging app and its millions of users. The main advantage of this was that since then Kik Messenger users are able to have access to a web browser within the app itself.
- In late 2014, Kik Messenger introduced something that will no doubt have a lot to do with Kik Messenger’s future: Kik bots.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”- John F. Kennedy
Kik Messenger’s Future: Kik Bots
In the last couple of years, Kik Bots have shown that they are here to stay. Kik bots can be mentioned in chats with other users or, often, you can chat and interact with them. There are different bots, offering a wide (and growing) range of services: from news, to weather, fashion, traffic, and many others.
According to Kik Messenger, at least 17 million people have chatted with more than 100 Kik bots already. This translates into more than 850 million messages being exchanged between Kik Messenger users and Kik bots. All these interactions are used by Kik Messenger developments to improve of the bots. Bots continue to evolve and new bots (such as the recently launched CNN bot) are constantly being launched. The experience of using bots have now become just like chatting to any other Kik Messenger user: easy and fun.
The Kik bots have become so popular that even some of its competitors have started to introduce them. Even Facebook Messenger now using their own version of bots and other chat platforms may follow suit shortly. Meanwhile Kik bots will continue to get better in the future.
Apparently, the reason why bots have become so popular recently is because downloading apps is nowhere near as popular as it once was. Even though, apps are still a recent phenomenon it seems that now users of smart phones and mobile devices are not as keen as downloading new apps as they once were (until not that long ago). So companies that would have launched apps (or even though with available free apps in the market) may now prefer to launch a Kik bot, instead. This is because social media and instant messaging apps are the only ones that consistently remain popular.
The other social media and chat apps are competing hard to catch up with Kik Messenger when it comes to bots and anything else. This is because the Kik Messenger app is by far the most popular app among teenagers in terms of the average time they spend on them, surpassing the likes of YouTube, Netflix, Snapchat, Facebook (including Facebook Messenger), and Instagram. Among the most popular mobile apps, Kik Messenger remains on top. And, this in turn, is the reason why other similar apps have started to imitate Kik.
Kik bots are the best way for news organization and other service providers to reach a demographic that would be quite reluctant to download their own stand-alone apps.
How About Kik Codes?
Kik bots are not the only recent revolution started by Kik Messenger. Kik Codes came out first.
Kik Codes is something that Kik Messenger imported for its Chinese counterpart WeChat.
In essence, Kik Codes (like WeChat codes) are QR codes. A QR code is a kind of bar code that can be scanned (read) by the camera on a smart phone or other mobile device. In the case of Kik codes, they are mainly used so that different Kik users can connect with one another easily without having to give each other their user names. This is advantageous because it can potentially accelerate communication. Users can share their Kik Messenger profile’s Kik codes on social media so others can scan them and add them immediately to their chat lists. Also, if they prefer, they can share the Kik codes for different group chats so they can add new users to existing chats as well.
As awesome as this may sound, Kik codes are still in their infancy. Our feeling is that we are going to see Kik codes evolve in the coming months and years to offer a lot more than what they currently do. For example, it is quite possible that, in future, these Kik codes will be able to include other services such as directions, discounts, exclusive tickets, and more.
What Else Is New with Kik Messenger?
In recent months, Kik Messenger has been added lots of new features such as the gif keyboard, or Kik points. It seems very likely that the people behind the most popular instant messaging app will continue to develop new ways in which their users can enhance their individual or group chats.
Essentially, the future of Kik Messenger looks incredibly promising. It will not be a matter of expecting more of the same thing but, rather, lots of new features to make Kik Messenger the go-to app. An important factor in this is the decline of other non-social based apps and the continuing popularity of Kik Messenger and other free instant messaging and social media mobile apps. Without a shred of a doubt, the people behind the Kik Messenger app will not want to lag behind their many competitors. There is no evidence to suggest that Kik Messenger will want to give up their first place as the most popular mobile app of its kind among teenagers and younger people more generally. This demographic is key for the success of any mobile app. The challenge is that younger people are also the most savvy demographic and they are susceptible to feel tempted by anything new and attractive. So, the challenge for the Kik Messenger app is two-fold: not just remaining relevant in an ocean of ostensibly similar mobile apps; but also constantly coming up with new and attractive features to keep it ahead of its competition.
As we have seen, if the short history of the Kik Messenger is anything to go by, there is very likely a lot on store for Kik users. If we can draw any conclusions from the history of Kik Messenger, it must be that they are interesting in innovation and truly care about the customer experience. From researching and using the Kik Messenger app for a long time, one gets the sense that the people behind the instant messaging app are constantly working hard to improve it. It is also rather obvious that Kik Messenger developers are constantly analyzing any feedback and information that they can get. A testament to this is that, even after they launch a new feature, they keep constantly working on it to improve it and make it as good as it can possibly get. It is almost as if they are never totally satisfied with their product and keep working hard at it ad infinitum.
Even though this article is about the future of the Kik Messenger, we wanted to take a step back and look a little bit at the history of the instant chat mobile app, particularly to its most recent developments. Short of any official announcements from the company, looking at their recent launches and to its wider history is the best way to forecast a little bit what Kik Messenger may have in store for its millions of users from around the world. In that sense, it seems very clear that Kik Messenger’s future is going to be to a rather large extend about three things, namely: expanding on Kik bots, introducing new features to enhance chats, and improving Kik codes beyond what they initially can do.