in Canada

Has KIK finally arrived?

I have been using kik pretty much since it launched last April. It was particularly useful for me because I was spending most of my week in the US at that time and kik allowed me to TXT back home while avoiding Rogers/Fido/Telus/Bell’s atrocious $1/message TXT roaming fees.

The kik app was always very solid and rarely crashed, but there were often delivery problems, even on kik-to-kik messaging. It also seemed to eat up a lot of battery on the IPhone and Blackberry. Those problems seem to be in the past however and it doesn’t seem to affect my battery life anymore.

kik seems to have finally taken off. So much so that they are signing up an average of 3 users per second and the team is struggling just to keep their servers online. They have published a few graphs showing their signup volume and it is impressive. The sudden drop resulted from kik having to take their servers offline and their app out of the app store.

As it stands, kik is Blackberry Messenger, but it works on Blackberry, IPhone and Android. I have tried it on all platforms, and they all seem to be equally good.

There are a handful of other multi-device messengers, such as whatsapp, and it is hard to figure out exactly what the kik business model might be in the end. They originally talked about some sort of music streaming/sales business, but it is hard to tell if that is still the plan, and frankly I am not sure that my private messaging and music worlds should be mixed up like that.

Whatever model kik does eventually settle on, it is probably worthwhile for them to focus on continuing the growth they are now achieving.

Kik came out of Velocity at The University of Waterloo, which we have covered in the past.

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    I think Kik is still aiming to get into music sharing. From a RIM press release:

    “Kik is all about sharing, buying and experiencing music on a mobile platform, so integrating with BBM will deliver huge value to our users,” said Kik CEO Ted Livingston. “Kik users will be able to connect with friends and colleagues to discover and share music, the experience will be much more intimate through BBM.”

    http://crackberry.com/research-motion-announces-bbm-social-platform

  • http://www.willw.net/ Will Robertson

    I think Kik is still aiming to get into music sharing. From a RIM press release:

    “Kik is all about sharing, buying and experiencing music on a mobile platform, so integrating with BBM will deliver huge value to our users,” said Kik CEO Ted Livingston. “Kik users will be able to connect with friends and colleagues to discover and share music, the experience will be much more intimate through BBM.”

    http://crackberry.com/research-motion-announces-bbm-social-platform

  • http://bugnotme.myopenid.com/ blah

    Does this require a data plan?

  • http://bugnotme.myopenid.com/ FooBar

    Does this require a data plan?

  • http://startupnorth.ca Jevon

    Works on wifi.

  • http://startupnorth.ca Jevon

    Works on wifi.

  • Tim A

    You might want to checkout Text+ (TextPlus) iPhone app.

  • Tim A

    You might want to checkout Text+ (TextPlus) iPhone app.

  • http://startupnorth.ca Jevon

    Text+ is too ugly for words

  • http://startupnorth.ca Jevon

    Text+ is too ugly for words

  • http://bugnotme.myopenid.com/ blah

    Thanks. Obviously that makes it ineffective as a SMS replacement though.

  • http://bugnotme.myopenid.com/ FooBar

    Thanks. Obviously that makes it ineffective as a SMS replacement though.

  • http://startupnorth.ca Jevon

    I do not follow your logic.

    Works over normal data as well.

    It is impossible to supplant sms as it operates differently than data

  • http://startupnorth.ca Jevon

    I do not follow your logic.

    Works over normal data as well.

    It is impossible to supplant sms as it operates differently than data

  • Aisha

    I have heard about Kik but never had the chance to use it yet. I kept meaning to start using it but it ends up getting lost on my many lists of things to do. But now that your post has reminded me again, I think I will place it on top of my list. :) Thanks a lot.

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