What Is Kik? An Intro to the Free Texting App

All about the Kik Messenger app as an alternative to SMS texting

Kik is a trendy, cross-platform smartphone application used for instant messaging. Like many other popular messaging programs, such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, you may use Kik to message individual friends in addition to groups of friends.
Unlike WhatsApp, which uses your phone number to create your account and connect to your contacts, Kik allows its users to create a free account by email and password.
Users can connect with each other by searching for a particular user's username, scanning a Kik code, or using their phone contacts by entering their phone number.
With Kik, you can send and receive an unlimited number messages to anybody else with a Kik account. It looks and feels almost identical to SMS text messaging, however it uses your smartphone's data plan or WiFi connection to send and receive messages.

Why Use Kik?
A lot of teens love Kik for its intuitive and functional program interface which makes it easy to chat about anything as though they were doing it through text message. Most people use Kik as an easy alternative to email or public chatting on any other social network.
It's also a great substitute for regular SMS text messaging, frequently as a way to avoid expensive data charges or to prevent going over any text limits. The biggest drawback to using Kik is that you always must use your data plan or connect to WiFi so as to use it, but for mobile devices users that are limited by texting, Kik is a great alternative.
Kik also allows more than just simply texting. Chatting online is extremely visual nowadays, and Kik allows users to message their friends with everything from photos and videos, to GIFs and emoticons.
Within just over two decades of its release in 2010, the Kik Messenger program grew into one of the very best and most popular chat platforms available, attracting more than 4 million users--called "Kicksters." By May of 2016, it had over 300 million users.

Kik Features
Kik was constructed to mimic the appearance and functionality of smartphone SMS text messaging, except of course it works with user profiles and username to chat with friends as opposed to phone numbers. Below are some of the qualities you can expect to get out of using it.
Live Reading: You can see whenever the person you're chatting with is typing a message live, which is helpful in knowing that you should be expecting to receive a message back in a few seconds. You can also see when a message you've sent has been read by the recipient, even if they haven't replied yet or began typing.
Notifications: When you send and receive messages, you are notified when they are sent and delivered, exactly like regular text messaging. You can also customization your notification sounds and choose to receive them immediately whenever a new friend sends a message to you.
Invite friends: Kik can send out invites to people you know by SMS text, by email, or via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. When a friend signs up for Kik with their phone number or email that you already have stored on your phone, Kik recognizes that you are friends and sends you both a notification to attach on Kik.
Kik code scanning: Every Kik user has a Kik code which can be accessed in their preferences (the gear icon in the upper left corner of the chats tab).
To add a user from their Kik code, tap the search icon, then tap "Find People," then tap "Scan a Kik Code." You have to give Kik permission to get your camera before it is possible to scan another user's Kik code to include them.
Multimedia message sending: You are not just restricted to sending text messages with Kik. You can send photos, GIFs, videos, sketches, emoticons and much more!
Video chat: A brand new feature Kik recently introduced includes the ability to have a real-time video conversation with friends, like FaceTime, Skype and other video chat programs.
Profile integration: You have your own username and accounts, which you can customize with a profile picture and contact information.
Chat lists: Just like any smartphone SMS text platform, Kik lists all the various chat you have with people. Click on any to pull up the chat and start chatting with them.
Chat personalization: You may notice that Kik closely resembles the appearance of Apple's iMessage program. You can choose what colors you need for your chat bubble.
Group chats: You can start your own group chats by tapping the search icon (the little magnifying glass), tapping "Start a Group" and then adding users to your group.
Promoted chats: When you tap the search icon to add new people, you should see an option on another tab labeled "Promoted Chats." You may tap this to see a list of interesting chats and start chatting with them yourself.
Privacy: You are able to choose whether or not you need Kik to access your address book to match it with your contacts. It is also possible to block users on Kik from contacting you.

How to Begin Using Kik
To get started, the first thing you need to do is download the free mobile program. You can download Kik Messenger from iTunes for iPhone (or iPod Touch or iPad), from Google Play for Android phones and from the Windows Phone Marketplace for Windows phones.
Once you have the program installed, Kik will automatically ask you to create a new account or sign-in if you already have an account. All you really need is to complete some basic information (such as your name and birthday), a username, an email address and a password. You can also fill out optional information like your phone number and a profile picture.
Again, the significant drawbacks are the need for a data or WiFi connection, together with the need for friends to also have a Kik accounts if you want to interact together through Kik. Still, it's a great messaging option that has been growing steadily in popularity through the years, particularly with the younger crowd.

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