Chat App Kik Claims Greater Engagement Than Snapchat As It Hits 200M Registered Customers
Snapchat might been within the information for its new media-centric ‘Uncover’ platform, however a much less acquainted startup is urgent its declare as the preferred chat app amongst younger individuals within the U.S..
Kik is nearly a polar reverse to Snapchat. Based mostly outdoors of California within the unglamorous Canadian metropolis of Waterloo — residence to BlackBerry — it’s helmed by a publicity-shy CEO and has largely flown beneath the radar, elevating $70 million up to now. That’s in stark comparability to LA-based mostly Snapchat, with its seen model, ‘playboy’ CEO, $10 billion valuation and current $485 million spherical.
But Kik claims that its share of America’s youth is extra lively inside its app than that of Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram.
Customers Metrics Don’t Matter
Kik simply handed 200 million registered customers, however CEO and co-founder Ted Livingston performed down that milestone, telling TechCrunch in an interview that it “doesn’t actually matter all that a lot.”
Livingston additionally dismissed month-to-month lively consumer counts, a metric that’s more and more widespread produced by corporations, as “meaningless”. He joked that Kik doesn’t launch its personal MAU quantity as a result of it “hasn’t had time to juice the numbers.”
“Different corporations make an enormous deal about MAU, however we expect they could as nicely be referred to as ‘minimally lively customers’.” It’s a metric that’s really easy to recreation. For instance, push notifications are so highly effective for cellular you could drastically improve MAUs simply by blasting out a “Completely satisfied holidays!” and counting everybody who opened the app in response as ‘lively’,” he added.
Livingston welcomes a extra quantified strategy alongside the considering of Twitter and Medium founder Ev Williams, who lately lamented the tech business’s obsession with measuring “a mile extensive, and an inch deep.”
“For a chat app that is determined by frequent, significant dialog amongst friends, engagement is the golden goose,” he stated.
So whereas WhatsApp claims an unimaginable 600 million month-to-month lively customers and Snapchat has a jaw-dropping valuation pre-monetization, Livingston counters with analysis that trace that Kik has larger consumer numbers and higher engagement within the US.
Current knowledge from ComScore claimed that chat app utilization has plateaued within the US. These numbers recommend that Kik — which ranks second behind Snapchat on lively U.S. customers — has ridden the storm higher than the remainder of the sector.
Livingston stated ComScore’s knowledge matched a worring development that Kik had seen amongst its customers and, desperate to study extra, it commissioned analysis from New York-based mostly Magid to dig into the specifics.
Initially a undertaking for Kik’s eyes solely, based on Livingston — who needed to know if different apps have been in the identical boat — the info suggests that Kik customers spend a mean of 35 minutes contained in the app every time they open it. That’s a stat that Magid discovered was solely greater for Fb, which averaged 37 minutes.
Kik has lengthy confused that it’s targeted on America’s younger, cellular-first era, thus Livingston stated he was inspired by findings that customers aged underneath 20 are most engaged with its service.
Whereas it is very important notice that Kik commissioned the Magid knowledge and that ComScore stats are sometimes hotly disputed by the publishers that the info agency makes use of to generate its figures, the overall tendencies behind them are fascinating.
Going Past Chat
Might it’s that a darkish horse is definitely being underestimated by the tech business?
It’s too early to actually make sure, however Kik’s present roadmap definitely differentiates it from Snapchat — that’s one thing that Livingston is happy with as he believes Kik is extra interesting as a “pure messaging” participant and Snapchat’s transfer into media lessens the direct comparisons.
“You don’t go into Snapchat simply to textual content pal,” he stated. “This [launch of Discover] takes them even additional away from us, and extra like Instagram and Youtube.”
Livingston is more and more extra vocal, and he’s been very clear about his goal to construct the ‘WeChat of West’. He believes there’s scope to emulate the cult chat app that has turn out to be the de facto cellular web in China, mixing in elements that work greatest within the U.S.
Past the essential chat expertise, Kik started letting manufacturers on to its platform final summer time — its first main monetization transfer — while giving customers management over what they see. This yr it’s planning to introduce a funds service which might ultimately gasoline a collection of on-demand providers which may let Kik customers pay payments, purchase buying and extra all whereas chatting to their buddies.
“Younger shoppers within the West are like all shoppers within the East. They haven’t but determined the place to financial institution, the place to buy, or what video games to play. However all of them chat,” Livingston beforehand stated in response to naysayers who don’t consider an Asian chat app mannequin can work within the U.S.
It’s nonetheless early days, however the underdog from Canada is fairly bullish about its future — month-to-month lively consumer numbers or not.
Featured Picture: Kik