- Kik is a free messaging app that allows users to keep in touch with family and friends using Wi-Fi or your phone’s mobile data.
- Kik only requires an email address to sign up — there’s no need to provide a phone number.
- Kik is available on Android, iOS, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
- Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
While there is no shortage of free messaging apps available, Kik holds a particular appeal thanks to its increased privacy and anonymity in comparison to competitors such as WhatsApp and iMessage. Requiring only an email address to sign up, Kik boasts hundreds of millions of registered users across the globe.
What you need to know about Kik
Kik doesn’t offer anything particularly unique in terms of how it operates on a basic level. You can message friends and family by manually adding their registered email address or scanning their custom QR code.
However, Kik places an emphasis on the multimedia side, allowing users to send everything from gifs and emojis to sketches. You can even host live video chats as you would on apps like Skype. You can also take part in anonymous chats or promoted chats sponsored by popular entertainment brands.
Kik is available on iOS, Android, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, making it compatible with a majority of devices. Once downloaded, you only need to provide an email to register your account and select a user ID. That ID is what identifies Kik users, which means your personal information is more secure and messaging can be done with partial or complete anonymity.
Kik’s simplified registration process as well as its popularity with teens could make the platform more dangerous for younger people, who may find themselves talking to those they shouldn’t through Kik’s anonymous chat feature. Kik’s current age restriction is listed as 13, though the Apple App Store rates it as inappropriate for anyone younger than 17. Parents whose children are underage and have created an account on the platform can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to submit an account deactivation request.
If your child receives an inappropriate message on the platform, Kik suggests that you block and report the user before following up with local law enforcement. Kik published extensive guidelines on this topic and other safety issues involving minors, and it’s worth reading before you allow your child on the platform.