by Lily Bradic
This week in Web 101, we’ll be discussing Kik, a messaging app for mobile devices. Kik will mainly be of interest to parents, so if you’ve been following Web101 to discover new platforms with marketing potential, you can skip this one — just remember to join us next week for image-based platform We Heart It! So, let’s get started:
What is Kik?
Kik is a free messaging application available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and Symbian. It allows users to send and receive messages (known as Kiks) using WiFi.
iOS covers iPod Touch and iPads as well as iPhones, so if your child has any of these devices, you should probably read on.
Who uses Kik?
Despite its 17+ rating in the App Store, Kik is extremely popular with kids and younger teens. Unless you’ve restricted apps by rating on your child’s smartphone, they can download anything they want.
Why should you care?
If Kik was just used to discuss homework and plans for the weekend, it wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, it’s frequently used for sexting, swapping nude pictures, and chatting with strangers. The reviews in the app store are all the evidence you need of this:
You need to know somebody’s Kik username in order to message them, but a lot of kids are publicly sharing their usernames on sites like Instagram in order to find new people to talk with. And, of course, there’s no way of guaranteeing that these strangers are who they claim to be.
If your child uses Kik, you may want to enforce a "no strangers" rule — or stop them from downloading it in the first place.
Is Kik good for marketing?
No. The only messaging app we’d recommend for marketing is Snapchat, and even that won’t work for everyone.
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