Kik Introduces A Full-Blown In-Chat Browser For Its Cellular Messaging App
Fb has developed an app platform for Messenger, however underdog rival Kik has continued its concentrate on placing the complete net in chat after upgrading its in-app sidebar browser right into a full-blown browser for its messaging app.
The change signifies that Kik customers can now summon a full browser inside their chats with associates. Beforehand the browser was restricted, because it was loaded from the sidebar as a part of the chat window. This alteration interprets to a extra immersive expertise, which lets Kik’s 200 million registered customers surf the online whereas speaking to buddies; as an example I might take heed to Soundcloud whereas chatting. It additionally provides them the choice to simply share net pages and providers in chats.
“The older expertise was extra like a browser apart from the messenger, it was not notably chat-centric,” Mike Roberts, head of cellular improvement at Kik informed TechCrunch. “The brand new design makes it simpler to view content material or browse the online.”
That’s necessary for quite a lot of causes. For one factor, Kik’s content material platform is predicated on HTML. The corporate has plans to launch a funds service this yr, and subsequently introduce commerce and different providers inside its app, based mostly on HTML and the browser expertise.
There are additionally plans to increase into extra immersive media, as we wrote when Kik added native video seize to its service final month. The corporate acquired GIF messenger service Relay final yr, and it’s more likely to introduce associated providers very quickly.
“Content material is a reasonably key a part of the expertise. There’s numerous content material arising — we acquired Relay for a purpose,” Roberts stated.
Along with placing extra emphasis on the browser, Kik stated it has begun choosing advisable content material for customers once they open the browser. That signifies that sure providers — together with stickers, memes and Kik’s factors service — will present up when the in-chat browser is opened, pushing customers towards extra partaking and sharable content material
Fb has opted for a “federation of apps” strategy to Messenger, after partnering with quite a lot of corporations that created new variations of their apps which might be optimized for the Fb service. Kik, nevertheless, has been there and completed that, having launched a “related app” SDK in 2011. The Canada-based mostly firm believes an internet-based mostly platform is extra advantageous for customers.
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“Fb is beginning out with a platform like we did three years go, [but that’s a] excessive friction sharing expertise ,” Roberts stated, referring to the truth that Messenger customers should obtain standalone apps to reap the benefits of the platform. “That was our primary purpose to shift to net: it’s a query of ‘How can I share one thing with out having to go an app retailer?’”
Kik, which is partaking with strategic companions with a view to creating its service by way of partnerships, has had its general concentrate on messaging apps as platforms validated by Fb’s transfer, however now it’s doubling down on its key differentiator: the online.