Oh, the churning intricacies of modern technology slang. The next time someone tells you, “Kik me,” you’ll be glad you found your way to this brief cultural refresher to learn what they mean.
In truth, I’ve come across more than a dozen instances of people asking this same question, and it all stems from the popularity of the mobile chat app, Kik Messenger. (You may begin to see where we’re going with this.) Founded in 2009 as Kik Interactive, the app has been around for quite a while at this point. Rather than feeling long in the tooth or in need of an updated, Kik has remained at the forefront of the mobile messaging app market. While it consistently competes (and succeeds!) against its competition, the developers of Kik have also managed to innovate in ways that allow the app to stand apart from the pack. As 2016 unfolds and millions of users continue to use Kik on a daily basis, that innovation is only likely to keep fueling Kik’s success into the future.
Where does “Kik me” enter the picture? right alongside the app’s popularity, as it were. When an app boasts over 200 million registered profiles and millions of people signed onto it daily, that army of loyal users is going to start co-opting the app’s name in the interest of clever catchphrases and easy slogans. Thus, for many of Kik’s younger users (and they are many), a request for someone to chat with them on the app became, “Kik me.”
Not only that, the clever phrase usually comes attached to an individual’s username. Along with a request for someone to contact you on Kik, it usually implies permission to do so with the accompanying means. You’ll hear it from trusted friends and complete strangers alike, depending on where the phrase crops up. Maybe thumbing through a series of Instagram comments and you happen upon “Kik me” alongside an username. As long as this person knows what they’re doing (let’s hope so!) then anyone who happens upon that phrase and that name will be able to contact them through Kik.
It’s an invitation as much as a catchphrase! Elsewhere on the web, you may encounter a screenshot of someone’s Kik code alongside the very same words. As long as you know what you’re getting yourself into (and they do), feel free to do just as it says, and “Kik them!”
However easy it is to get the hang of, a few words of caution ought to accompany this new nugget of knowledge. Since it concerns your personal privacy and safety on Kik, as well as that of other’s, it will be worth your while to read on!
Instant messaging and chat rooms have basically created a level playing field for deaf people.- Vint Cerf
Kik Me! Kik Anyone?
Here’s the thing; if it wasn’t clear already, anyone who gets ahold of your unique Kik username will allow them to hit you up for a chat. The same goes for any usernames that you find when you’re exploring the internet, in all of its various forms. Social media platforms, other messaging programs, forums, websites, and anything else under the sun where people can post their information. Much like any piece of personal information that you might be tempted or persuaded into sharing, your Kik username can be left pretty much anywhere that you wish to do so.
Is it safe to leave your username just laying around? I would absolutely argue that it isn’t, but part of the beauty of Kik Messenger is that it doesn’t require any of your personal information when you’re setting up an account. Though it can certainly cause all kinds of inconvenience when someone you’d rather not get ahold of your username, there’s little stopping you from creating another Kik account if things get too out of hand.
However, that still doesn’t mean that you should play too loose and easy with your username, even if it won’t result in any seriously compromised information. I think we’d all rather be safe than sorry, and if a little bit of caution means being able to have a better chat experience (or several!) then it’s worth the required time and attention. Instead of just leaving your username all over the place, let’s talk about some targeted places that you could do so that might actually enrich your Kik experience.
Where Can I Share My Kik Information?
We’ll start with the obvious since Kik offers several ways for you to share your profile from within the app itself. Tap over to your Settings menu (the small gear in the upper or lower left of the main Kik screen). After, select “Share My Profile.” You’ll be presented with a submenu of different social media platforms that you’re very likely to already have installed on your smartphone. After all, if you don’t have some combination of Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (or all three of them) already installed, what are you waiting for? Kik Messenger allows you to copy your profile information and easily post it into any of these three apps, as well as any other social media platform that you’d prefer to use (simply select “More”).
If you’re a security-conscious person, or if you simply don’t want an abundance of people messaging you, it can pay to be more limited both in where you post your information as well as how you choose to do it. All of the above options are perfectly viable, and all will allow you to forwards along your profile to friends, acquaintances, and more, but you can control how far your information goes by adjusting your privacy in these respective apps.
Let’s look at Instagram as an example. Within the Instagram app itself, you can adjust the privacy settings of your feed, either limiting it to your current followers or opening it up to the general public. Depending on how you have your feed set up, different numbers of people are going to see your Kik profile when you choose to share it through Instagram. Is your feed set to “private?” Expect your Kik profile to only make it so far as those contacts you’re already acquainted with. If it’s set to “public,” however, your profile stands to travel far and wide. Consequently, you should prepare for messages from people that you may not know.
Since we’re speaking a bit broadly, adjustments in the privacy settings of any social media feed or app will carry the same consequences. Kik Messenger will help you to host your profile, but how you choose to share it is entirely up to you!
Additionally, sharing your profile in a social media feed is not the only way that you can go about it. As mentioned near the top of this article, you can be just about anywhere on the internet and stumble upon the words “Kik Me,” followed by an username. One of the most common places to find this? Where discussions are taking place!
It’s very common to find links to peoples’ Kik profiles if you choose to look in places where people are already talking and connecting outside of Kik. Take a glance through someone’s Instagram comments, or the comment accompanying a friend’s Facebook post. If it garners enough attention, enough voices, and enough discussion, it’s possible that the people there will decide to keep talking further by invitation. “Kik Me,” is essentially saying, “Let’s keep talking in a place where it’s easier; Kik Messenger!”
Is this method for you? That depends on how active you are in the comments sections of popular social media posts and other corners of the web where people are already talking. As already stated, you’re taking a risk when you do so. Putting your Kik username out there in a the world is a sign of faith that only those who actually, genuinely want to chat with you are going to add you on Kik.
For the sake of rounding up our methodology, here, let’s do a brief recap:
- You can use the Kik app itself to share your profile through social media.
- Adjust the privacy settings in other apps to determine how many people your profile is potentially shared with.
- If you’re part of a discussion somewhere on the web (comments sections, online forums, chat rooms, social media feeds), you can post your information there.
Wherever you choose to share your information, keep in mind the trends that are attracting attention to those types of posts. “Kik Me” is certainly an invitation for other people to do just that, but if the place you’re posting supports tags, including a #KIK or #KikMessenger can make it even easier for people to find you and your Kik profile.
As long as Kik remains such a popular way for people to chat with each other, these sorts of clever phrases aren’t going to go away. They become part of the very language that we’re using to understand each other, in the same way that emoji are now used frequently and fluently to express emotion without applying words to do so. In that same way, “Kik Me” is an invitation. That will never likely mean anything differently (as long as it’s spelled the same way!)