The Tweet Teaser

A tweet from TechCrunch about smartphone app Kik piqued my interest this Tuesday. 

Kik, a cross-platform mobile messaging app for Blackberry, iPhone, and Android went from 0 – 1.5 million users in only 18 days. That information alone made me download and install Kik on my Blackberry and email two friends with iPhones requesting that they install it too – which they did. Kik’s clean interface tells you when a message is sent, delivered, and read. It also tells you when someone is typing a message back to you. 

Kik’s rapid adoption can be attributed to the ‘4Ds.’

  1. Data – straight facts, like 1.5 million users in a little over 2 weeks, are hard to argue with and clearly drive additional users to your product. If you can show good data, you will have an easier time of convincing people to use your product or service.
  2. Design – simple, yet elegant is how I would describe the Kik interface on my Blackberry. The font is clear and easily read and each message you scroll through is softly highlighted. A checked S, D, R – (sent, delivered, read) next to each message conveys a concise status. Kik also lets you send email and Twitter download requests friends – a big factor in its propagation. 
  3. Differentiation – a mobile messaging app that can function on the major smartphone platforms including Blackberry is a good sell in the growing smartphone space. 
  4. Drama – Techcrunch’s post questioned whether Kik was in violation of Apple’s iOS terms of service. The Kik team was also offering somewhat dramatic updates (3,000,000 packets PER SECOND into our data center) and seeking patience from fellow Kiksters on its Facebook page. Naturally, technogeek drama like this only serves to increase buzz. 

What’s Next – Monetization

Some Kik critics (or would that be Kritiks) have wondered if those same 1.5 million users would be willing to pay even a penny for opportunity to download Kik. We’ll never know. 

Monetization doesn’t just mean paid downloads. It could be location based ads, integration with Facebook or Twitter, or branded smartphone messaging for large corporations (imagine a fast, mobile version of Lotus Sametime). Kik certainly has a number of mobile marketing opportunities (and inbound marketing opportunities) open to it.

Regardless of what Kik does next, the small Canadian company, certainly has garnered much attention lately. 

Are you a Kikster? Which platform? What made you download Kik? Will they be around in a year?