Kik: What’s the big deal?

Have you heard of Kik? I hadn't either until this weekend.  

It seems as though it's all the rage in smart phone communications. Personally, I didn't get it at first.  I installed it on my android phone, it apparently scanned my contact list and suggested friends, and that was that.  It gave all appearances of being another simple messenger service which held little interest for me.  Yet, all the while I heard people singing it's praises. Some even announced that it was ushering in the death of BBM (Blackberry Messenger). So what was the big deal? It took me a while to figure it out.

If you have an android phone you can have messenger services like google talk, or aim running in the background all day long which can be pretty handy. But, I guess, if you have an iphone or blackberry you can't. Kik apparently gets around that issue and allows for it's users to receive messages at any time, which makes it much more like text messaging with a few added perks. One of those perks being that it's free.

Another cool perk that Kik offers is that it notifies you when a message is sent, delivered and read. Pretty cool considering you never know where text messages go if the intended recipient fails to respond.  

Kik does seem to have a few limitations though.  The biggest limitation I see is that you are limited to sending messages only to other Kik users. If Kik were to develop a way to message phone numbers or even aim, yahoo messenger, or google talk members that would be huge.  But, for now you're stuck only being able to message the small number of people with a Kik account.  Granted that number is quickly increasing, but it's still limiting the application's usefulness in my opinion.  

All in all, I have to say I'm impressed with Kik. If they continue to grow, and are able to properly scale their service with little or no down time, I think they will be a huge success. If you use a blackberry, iphone or android phone I encourage you to check it out.  

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