Kik Messenger might not be the powerhouse that it once was, which has led the company CEO to call time on the instant messaging app. We’ve already seen Blackberry Messenger bite the dust this year too, which means even less choice of messaging platform. If you’re an avid Kik user, you might want to look for an alternative before the plug gets pulled.
Legal issues and lawsuits surrounding Kik have no doubt sped up this dissolving process. The team behind the instant messager is now set to focus on its cryptocurrency — Kin. If you’re not into cryptocurrency, then you probably don’t care what the company does next.
Kik, or Kik Messenger, arrived at a time when we thought that the PIN method adopted by Blackberry Messenger was the way to connect with fellow messengers. It also was in the ‘first-wave’ of IM services along with WhatsApp, Telegram, and the long-forgotten PingIt.
The VOIP SMS service came from Canada in 2010 and much like Blackberry used PINs to amass approximately 300 million registered users as of May 2016 — accounting for 40% of United States teens.
As of today, you can still officially use Kik Messenger, so you do have time to make the switch before it finally heads off to the big messenger graveyard in the sky. So, with that said, here are five solid alternatives that offer free messaging to jump over to — iOS users, well, you can stick to iMessage.
The biggest cross-platform messaging application on the planet by some margin, and arguably one of the core reasons it has become so ubiquitous around the world.
I use WhatsApp daily, heck hourly. In most of Europe, Africa, India, and Oceania, WhatsApp reigns supreme. There is a desktop app and webpage that supports messaging from your browser, PC or Mac too — which is especially helpful.
One advantage that WhatsApp has always had over services like Kik that require a PIN or login is that it plugs directly into your contacts list. You simply log in with your telephone number, activate and any contacts you have already using the service you’re able to chat with.
Other features include video and voice calling, Snapchat-like timed video Statuses and tt’s completely free too.
Telegram prides itself on being one of the most secure cross-platform messengers online. Like WhatsApp, it has a desktop app and is touted as the ‘fastest messaging app on the market’. I’m not sure how they have got to that conclusion, but I have no reason to doubt it.
An area that Telegram really beats out many others is the cross-device syncing. You can start a message on one handset and finish on your desktop for instance. Mac and iPhone users will laugh at this but for those of us not in the ‘walled garden’, it’s nice to get some similar features without the binds of Cupertino.
I like the ability to start ‘secret chats’ too, which isn’t possible in many other messaging clients. Even better still, you don’t need to share a telephone number to add a friend and start messaging.
With a very similar, simple interface as you’ll find on Telegram, you could be forgiven for confusing the two applications at first glance. Signal is a ‘privacy-conscious’ messaging application but it uses telephone numbers as an identifier — which isn’t exactly secure.
Either way, this Open Source option enables anyone to verify its security and audit the code. End-to-end encryption is par for the course with every message, and you can even make voice and video calls too.
I’m not personally familiar with Viber, apart from via the Childish Gambino track ‘3005’. It has been around for a long time and is just a month younger than Kik — having been released in December 2010. The fact that Japanese mega-corp Rakuten owns the messaging platform also means that you would expect it to stand the test of time.
Viber claims over 1 billion users worldwide, although I’ve never seen it being used personally. Like the rest, it includes a desktop app, video calling, and group chat functionality on top.
All chats are end-to-end encrypted too, while there are even features that allow you to pay for specific bundles of texts and calls when traveling.
The biggest social media network on the planet genuinely has one of the best messaging apps attached to it. Facebook may be a shady hole of misinformation and long lost relatives with their ‘odd’ political views and conspiracy theories but dang it, Facebook Messenger is excellent.
Of course, it does technically rely on owning a Facebook account, but you can actually deactivate your account and still retain the ability to use the messaging platform — something I’ve done a couple of times before.
The wealth of features is insane and does put Kik to shame. Polls, group chats, video and voice calling, desktop, mobile and web apps, photo and video stories, and tons more on top. The only problem: it’s still Facebook — as is WhatsApp. It’s still arguably the most feature-packed of the messaging apps out there though.
Oh, and there is a Lite version of the app too — which none of the others on this shortlist include — it uses less data and even has a much smaller application footprint.
- Get Facebook Messenger from the Google Play Store
- Get Facebook Messenger Lite from the Google Play Store
Hopefully one of those options fills the void left by the outgoing Kik Messenger. If not, well you can always hang on until it finally kicks the bucket and hope your contacts stay with you until the bitter end. If you have any suggestions of your own for Kik replacements, then be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
- Google Pixel 3a Starter Kit: Some of the best third-party cases [Video]
- WhatsApp users will start seeing in-app ads within ‘Status’ feature from 2020
- Report: Samsung Galaxy Fold release won’t happen until July at the earliest