Chat App Kik Introduces QR Codes To Join Customers And Manufacturers

Chat App Kik Introduces QR Codes To Connect Users And Brands

Cellular messaging firm Kik just lately landed funding from Tencent at a billion greenback valuation, and now it’s borrowing an indicator of the Chinese language firm’s blockbuster WeChat app: QR codes.

Kik CEO and co-founder Ted Livingston final month paid tribute to the best way that WeChat makes use of QR codes in China to allow a variety of interactions proper from the app, resembling shopping for a soda or printing a photograph.

That type of engagement is the longterm objective for Kik however, comparatively talking, ‘Kik Codes’ are beginning out very primary. Scanning can join two customers, add new members to a gaggle chat or — maybe most apparently — join a consumer with a model on the service.

Mike Roberts, head of cellular improvement at Kik, informed TechCrunch that the function was primarily developed to permit its 240 million registered customers to attach, however it has apparent synergy for manufacturers as a result of it simplifies connections and permits extra opportunistic promotions.

Kik launched promoted chats this summer time to let manufacturers like Burger King into its service in an official capability. The corporate stated right now that over sixteen million customers have chatted with branded bots, with over half a billion messages exchanged, and Kik Codes play properly on that idea. For instance, a Code that gives a free pizza or cash supply incentive can set off a scan from a consumer — with the code, that connection can be far more durable to facilitate.

“You might have a relationship with a model and an app, however how do you provoke that have? We’ve usernames on Kik, so the social friction round giving out a telephone quantity is gone, however there’s nonetheless excessive friction as I have to enter my username and discover the model.

“How can we remove that however let you join with a model simply? Notably when no one is aware of what’s on the opposite aspect of a QR code, a webpage with billboard advert or $5 coupon? We need to convey that with the Kik model,” Roberts stated.

Past simply connecting, QR codes additionally present context for a relationship — for instance what sort of a code did that individual scan, and what location did they scan it from. Utilizing that context, a Kik bot operated by a model can ship the suitable response to a consumer. That would imply offering a pizza low cost, instructions to a retailer, unique tickets, or extra. Extra importantly, it opens a dialogue for future alternatives, too.

For now, Kik isn’t saying an excessive amount of about how Kik Codes could be used sooner or later — though Livingston has beforehand hinted at an upcoming cost service — just like Snapchat’s Snapcash — which might align with QR codes.

“We’ve paid shut consideration to China, the place WeChat has been capable of personal the QR code, and we’ll do one thing totally different right here [in the U.S.],” Roberts stated. “Given the skills of the [Kik] bots, we’re working intently with a quantity of companions — loads of cool usecases are arising quickly.”

Kik isn’t simply targeted on connecting manufacturers — although that’s the place a lot of the income potential lies. The corporate launched music-themed communities final month to spice up engagement, and Kik Codes will assist customers simply join with different customers in the identical method that Snapchat, WeChat and different chat apps use QR codes so as to add associates.