The success that has come to Waterloo-based Kik seems to be overwhelming. As you know by now, Kik is a free, cross- platform instant messaging service. The look and feel is very similar to the experience I have using BBM.
As of November 6th, the Kik community has grown to over 1 million users (according to their blog). They experienced some hiccups and roadblocks. However, adoption seems to be growing.
Yet there are some features and additions Kik should implement. Here are four "kiking" suggestions:
1. Kik has a really cool algorithm that scans your contact list to see if there are matching Kik users. This enables you to quickly set up a Kik community of your own. However, I think Kik should allow you to search for more users via your connections on Twitter, Facebook and even BBM.
2. Group chat. One of the neat features of BBM is the ability to send messages to a group. This kind of feature would really increase the adoption of Kik as a true collaboration tool.
3. True SMS alternative. Because Kik is available only on BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices it is not really a true SMS alternative. Although smartphone's in North America are the default device, there is still a huge market in Africa and Asia that still use traditional mobile phones. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Kik developed a Kik for "dumb" phones. There has also been some Windows Phone 7 fans that are asking for Kik.
4. Innovation. BBM allows you to send pictures and other attachments. I'm sure Kik will soon add these features (and more). What would be really cool is something that Kik CEO Ted Livingston blogged about a couple of months ago:
From the technology it includes, to the licensing that enables the model, to the social features that make it so addictive, this will be a product that will challenge the way you discover, acquire, and play music. This is the product we’ve been working on for over a year and a half, and we can’t wait to share it with all of you.
There are probably more features that would make Kik a viable alternative to SMS. What feature would you suggest?