Kik Messenger is a messaging app for iPhone and Android popular in the United States among teen users. The free to use app was founded on October 19, 2010, nearly 9 years ago by Kik Interactive Inc.
What is Kik used for? Kik is primarily used by teens to anonymously message each other, send smileys or stickers, chat with chatbots, send photos and videos, etc. Kik has found a niche use for international communication as there are no fees and you can make calls via WiFi even when your phone service is off.
The founder and CEO of Kik is Ted Livingston, who started the app as a student at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Livingston was inspired to start Kik as a way to experiment with the technological potential of then-new smartphones.
The app is known for its focus on privacy and anonymity among users. Anyone can sign up for Kik Messenger over the age of 13 without linking a phone number to their account. You have to provide an email address to sign up, but only your ID name is displayed to other users so you can remain anonymous.
Kik Messenger User Statistics
Kik’s user base grew incredibly fast from launch. In the first 15 days after launching the app, Kik had amassed over 1 million users. Recently, however, the user base growth for Kik has slowed down.
1. 300 million registered users on Kik Messenger
Kik is just 27 million shy of the equivalent of the entire United States using the app. The app has quietly amassed a substantial following. Source
2. 500,000 daily active users /15 million monthly active users
3. 6 Billion emojis are sent every day on Kik
4. 6 million people use Kik Messenger every month in the United States
5. 7th most popular messaging app in the United States
As of March 2019, Kik Messenger came in just after Skype and before LINE in the most popular messaging apps in the U.S. Source
6. 2% of Americans use Kik Messenger each month
While a small demographic of America use Kik Messenger the user base is incredibly active among teens primarily. Source
7. $1 billion valuation
With a total funding raised of $220 million, Kik is worth over $1 billion. As the app continues to grow its worth will likely increase
8. 1.5 million new users each month
9. $120 million estimated yearly revenue
There wasn’t information specifically on the profit so it’s unclear if the company is profitable and if so, by how much. Source
10. 10th most popular messaging app in the world
While this may seem far down on the list, it’s important to remember just how large the messaging “pie” is globally. Also, the segment will certainly continue to grow. A large reason marketing agencies have focused on messaging lately. Source
11. 33% of American teens use Kik regularly
12. Users spend 74 minutes per day on the app
13. 70% of Kik users are between ages 13 and 24
Who uses Kik? The answer here is pretty clear that the core audience is between the ages of 13 and 24. It would be interesting to have a bit more information to see where the peak age sits and if it is close to the 13-year-old cutoff. Source
14. Kik is a top 10 app among teens in the US.
15. 2nd most engaged users by time spent on app behind Facebook
This is the bread and butter of Kik, how engaged its users are and a key metric the leadership team looks at. Source
16. Kik scored 1 out of 7 points for security on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s scorecard
The only point they got is because the messages are encrypted as they’re sent out. Source
17. As of 2015, Kik adds an average of 250,00 users each day
That comes out to about 7 million a month, or about 3 users every second. Granted, this stat is from 2015 and may be out of date. Source
18. Kik has been downloaded more than 2.5 million times on the Google Playstore alone
And still has a healthy 4.1/5 rating. Kik is also in the top 30 apps on the Apple Store. Source
Kik Bot Statistics
Kik has invested heavily in bots or chatbots as a way for brands to communicate with the Kik user base. They have been incredibly successful and have offered various brands the ability to personally (via bots) connect with millions of users and propel their messaging to targeted audiences.
1. 1.8 billion messages exchanged with Kik Bots
2. 20,000 registered chatbots
This number continues to grow as brands develop new chatbots to engage both existing customers and future customers. Source
3. Users spend, on average, 7 minutes chatting with Kik bots
Chatbots are getting good enough that perhaps during those 7 minutes the user doesn’t realize they’re talking to a chatbot. Or at least for part of the conversation, they forget it. Source
4. 60% of bot messages exchanged are with users between 13 and 19 years old
5. 60 average messages exchanged with bots
6. 2,197,348 gifs and emojis shared with TMNT bots
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles developed chatbots to message with their fans. This was a resounding success with the ability to send and receive messages en masse without the personnel normally required to operate such a large project. The power of bots. Source
7. 81% of Kik bot users originate from the US
Interestingly enough, a large number of bots on other platforms come from the US too. Source
Kik Cryptocurrency (Kin) Statistics
Kin is a cryptocurrency developed by Kik Messenger as a digital currency specifically for Kik users. Using Kin, users can buy goods and services on Kik and send money. Kin was first launched in September of 2017 through an initial coin offering (ICO), which is now the subject of an SEC lawsuit accusing Kik of an unregistered securities offering.
1. $100 million lawsuit was filed by the SEC against Kik Messenger
Even though Kik claims that Kin is a currency, not a security, the SEC claims that the Kin ICO constituted a public offering of an investment vehicle that was not registered by the SEC. Source
2. $17.1 million valuation for Kik Messenger’s Kin cryptocurrency
3. $98 million was raised from 10,000 participants during the initial coin offering (ICO)
4. Kin is one of the most actively traded cryptocurrencies
As of the time of writing, Kin is actually being more actively traded than BitCoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). Crypto rates are subject to change, but Kin has stayed high for the past 3 years. Source
Kik Safety Facts
Safety, especially teen safety has been a constant front and center topic for Kik. The app has become the de facto messaging app for teen abuse and exploitation. However, recent improvements and investments by Kik have made progress limiting the illicit use of the app.
1. $10 million invested to increase safety on the app
While this is about a month’s worth of revenue for the company it does represent a significant drive to improve the safety of the app. Source
2. Kik is associated with child exploitation among its teen user base
3. Spambots reportedly sent sexual messages to users
This was more of a problem during the early days of bots on Kik, since then they’ve done a better job of cleaning up spambots. Source
4. Kik utilizes Microsoft’s PhotoDNA service to detect and delete child exploitation images
5. Kik sponsors an annual conference on crimes committed against children
6. Kik has been involved in more than 1,000 child abuse cases in the UK
According to the BBC, out of 29 police forces providing information over the last 5 years, only one did not have an abuse case involving the app. Source
7. The FBI has used Kik for sting operations to catch predators
In one high profile case, the FBI infiltrated private predator groups on Kik for a full year after seizing the social media info of a convicted felon. Source
Kik Messenger, which will be 9 years old in a couple of months, has flown under the radar compared to other tech giants. Valued at $1 billion, the app has a large and active user base and continues to innovate in the chatbot and cryptocurrency fields. Kik actually announced back in late 2019 that the platform was going to shut down due to financial difficulties, but a last-minute acquisition by MediaLab saved the company.
It’s clearly not going anywhere from here, however, as flattening user growth may limit revenues to continue to try and experiment with novel technological advances. Kik’s Kin cryptocurrency is still kicking and may be a viable option for company growth, provided the current SEC lawsuit does not financially cripple the company and put heavy sanctions on Kin development and distribution.