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Kik Messenger (commonly referred to as Kik) is an instant messaging application developed for multiple platforms that allow users to send text, photos, videos, and other media directly between mobile devices. First launched by Ted Livingston from University of Waterloo students in 2010, it has since grown immensely as it now offers users from over 120 different countries the chance to communicate instantly via mobile.

Kik quickly gained popularity among teenagers and young adults due to its user-friendly interface, anonymity, and ability to facilitate communication across social circles. At its height, the app had over 300 million registered users worldwide, with significant user bases within the US.

Kik's success stemmed from its innovative features, such as using usernames rather than phone numbers to sign up, creating group chats of up to 50 people, and its own internal browser that allowed users to browse the internet within its app without ever leaving its chat environment.

Kik has long been marred with controversy, particularly regarding its use by minors to send explicit content or photos. Most recently, it was involved in a high-profile murder investigation involving a 13-year-old girl who was communicating with her killer through Kik. After this event occurred, law enforcement agencies intensified their scrutiny while criticizing Kik's lax approach to user safety.

Kik announced in 2019 that it would close down its messenger service and focus on developing its cryptocurrency Kin, which launched in 2017. But later, in 2020, MediaLab, an online holding company focused on acquisition and operation, acquired Kik and relaunched it with new features and improvements.

Kik is an important player in the instant messaging market, boasting an established user base and a history of innovation within the industry.



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