What the Tech? Kik app shutting down
In a surprising move to many, the developers of the messaging app "Kik" is shutting it down. The app, available for iOS and Android devices was one of the more popular messaging/chat apps among teens and pre-teens. At one time, the company claimed some 300 million users and 40% of teenagers said they used it.
In a blog post on the platform Medium, Kik's Ted Livingston announced the app would be shut down so the company could focus its attention toward a lawsuit with the SEC over its crypto-currency "Kin.”
Kik was launched in 2010 as one of the first messaging apps where anyone could sign up to start chatting with other users. What set it apart and gave it the potential for danger was that it did not require people to register an email or phone number to use the app.
Over the last nine years, the app became the center of investigations involving child exploitation, bullying, rape and even murder. In 2016, the app was mentioned in the case of a 13-year-old girl named Nicole Lovell who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by two people she met on the app. In Alabama, a man pled guilty to attempted kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl he met on Kik. He was arrested after attempting to check the girl out of school.
Kik is still being used by millions of teenagers and pre-teens every day and there's no word when the app will stop working. When I signed up for the app on Tuesday, I received over 40 messages and notifications within 15 minutes.
Other popular chatting apps are WeChat, Facebook's What's App, Line and Viber. Fortunately, all of those apps have better privacy settings than Kik did and require a verified email address or phone number.