What Is Kik and Why Will It Be Important To You? Kik Instant Messenger Review

Available for free for all Android Models, IPhone, Blackberry Smartphones and the IPad and IPod Touch, Kik is a revolutionary Blackberry Messenger (BBM) clone, offering a cross platform, real time messaging solution. Kik provides inline notifications within the application itself to indicate the status of the message you sent, explicitly stating whether your message has been sent, delivered or read, finally allowing all Smartphone users to know if the message they sent was received by the recipient and more importantly, if the message has been read.

Kik InterfaceKik Messenger

Advantages of Kik.

  • By being available for free on all major Smartphone platforms, it takes the concept of BBM to a greater audience, allowing everyone who has an Android, IPhone or Blackberry device to communicate with each other in almost real time.
  • Kik is lightning fast, allowing real time communication between phone users without the latency experienced when using SMS/MMS, especially if users are with different cell phone providers or are in different countries.
  • Using the data network rather than the cellular network (though Kik works flawlessly over both 2G and 3G networks), sending near real time messages to users in other countries is effectively free, removing potentially costly overseas SMS costs. With its BBM like sent/delivered/read functionality, you can send a message to a friend overseas who you know will be asleep and then notified when they have read the message after they have woken up.
  • By being the first true cross platform BBM clone to market, and with a user base of over 1 million people and growing exponentially, there is a high likelihood that Kik will use their first to market status to secure the market and become the defacto standard for BBM functionality across the IPhone, Android and Blackberry markets.

Disadvantages of Kik.

  • The major advantage BBM has in the Blackberry world is that it is a standard application deployed on each and every modern version of the Smartphone. BBM works because every Blackberry user has it installed by default and is integrated heavily into the underlying operating system. With potential users on IPhone and Android having to have heard of the application, than take the effort of finding, downloading and then installing Kik, the potential friends, family and colleagues that you can connect with will be limited until the application hits a critical mass.
  • This application is only effective if it can run permanently as a background task on the phone. Any older IPhone not running IOS 4 or later will not be able to run this application in the background, severely decreasing the applications usefulness.
  • Although out of beta, Kik is still a version 1.0 product and will need further development to provide additional functionality, greater polish and even better usability.

What Kik Will Mean To End Users

One major functional difference that Blackberry users have enjoyed over users of other Smartphones is the real time messaging functionality with delivery status verification provided by Blackberry Messenger. There has been no commercial advantage for Blackberry creator Research in Motion (RiM) to provide API's to allow cross platform real time messaging between itself and its competitors. With Smartphone users crying out for this functionality, it was only going to be able to be provided by a third party company and Kik Messenger is the first real world ready application to hit the market. Its rapid growth in even its first week is testament that the market is demanding a cross platform messaging solution. If Kik Messenger can reach a saturation point it will become a core component of most Smartphone user's arsenal. The delivery status notification provided by BBM is something I have missed since leaving the Blackberry for the IPhone and although the application is not as feature rich as BBM, the fact I can communicate with friends and colleagues in real time no matter their Smartphone choice has already made Kik an indispensable application in my daily routine. Its ease of use will ensure that it is not limited to only power users, which will in turn help to rapidly grow its user base helping the product reach a critical mass in an even shorter period of time.


There is only upside as additional functionality and polish is provided to Kik Messenger. For the perfect price of free, all Smartphone users can leverage the BBM functionality previously reserved for Blackberry users, no matter what Smartphone they have chosen. As more people download the application and use the service, Kik will become synonymous with real time mobile text communication.

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