Kik Messengercommonly called Kikis a freeware instant messaging mobile app from the Canadian company Kik Interactive, available free of charge on iOS and Android operating systems.
Kik Messenger has drawn controversy due to its reported involvement in a number of incidents of child exploitation. The app has been criticized as unsafe for minors due to its anonymity features and allegedly weak parental Where is kik mechanisms. Kik Interactive was founded in by a group of students from the University of Waterloo in Canada who wished to create new technologies for use on mobile smartphones.
The investment earned the company a billion dollar valuation. In this crowd sale, they sold digital tokens to the contributors. As of 23 Januaryneither the developers nor Microsoft have provided a statement or an explanation on the removal of the app. A main attraction of Kik that differentiates it from other messaging apps is its anonymity.
To register for the Kik service, a user must enter a first and last name, e-mail address, and birth date which, as of Februarymust show that the user is at least 13 years old and select a username.
The New York Times has reported that according to law enforcement, Kik's anonymity features go beyond those of most widely used apps. The guide further said that the company does not have access to content or "historical user data" such as photographs, videos, and the text of conversations, and that photographs Where is kik videos are automatically deleted shortly after they are sent.
A limited amount of data from a particular account identified by exact usernameincluding first and last name, birthdate, e-mail address, link to a current profile picture, device-related information, and user location information such as the most recently used IP addresscan be preserved for a period of 90 days pending receipt of a valid order from law enforcement.
Since MayKik has contained a safety feature that blurs messages from strangers, so that users must opt in to view content sent by people outside their network. Users also have the option to delete any offensive content or block another user from contacting them.
These features were developed in response to the widespread use of Kik for "cross-app" communication, whereby a user who encounters
Where is kik on another app usually a gaming app would then use Kik to communicate with them. Kik introduced several new user features inincluding a full-screen in-chat browser that allows users to find and share content from the web;  a feature allowing users to send previously recorded videos in Kik Messenger for Android and iOS; and "Kik Codes", which assigns each a unique code similar to a QR codemaking it easier to connect and chat with other users.
The campaign was featured on the app and Kik released stickers in collaboration with the campaign. Kik partnered with ConnectSafely in to produce a "parents handbook" and joined The Technology Coalition, an anti-sexual exploitation group including FacebookGoogleTwitter and LinkedIn.
Kik added promoted chats inwhich used bots to converse with users about promoted brands through activating responses.
The feature allows companies to communicate with more potential clients than would be possible manually. On November 4,
Where is kik scored 1 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation 's secure messaging scorecard.
Kik received a point for encryption during transit but lost points because communications are not "Where is kik" with a key to which the provider does not have access, users cannot verify contacts' identities, past messages are not secure if the encryption keys are stolen, the code is not open to independent review, the security design is not properly documented, and there had not been a recent independent security audit.
Child exploitation is prominent on Kik Messenger, causing law enforcement and the media to frequently express concerns about the app. Constable Jason Cullum of Northamptonshire Police paedophile online investigation team stated delays in obtaining information from the company increased the risk to children.
Cullum stated, "It's incredibly frustrating. We're banging our heads against a brick wall. There's a child that's going to be abused for probably another 12 months before we know who that is. Prior toKik Interactive addressed this issue by informing parents and police about their options to combat Where is kik exploitation. In Marchthe company adopted a more aggressive strategy by utilizing Microsoft 's PhotoDNA cloud service to automatically detect, delete, and report the distribution of child exploitation images on its app.
Kik has been criticized for providing inadequate parental control over minors' use of the app.