We are now witnessing the first signs of just how important messaging apps could become in North America for promoting games — and this has huge implications for BlackBerry’s battle for survival. Texting apps like LINE and Kakao are making hundreds of millions of dollars in Asia by acting as promotional tools for mobile games. 19 out of 20 top-grossing apps in South Korea are now distributed via KakaoTalk’s messaging platform. Last month, a mid-sized messaging app called Kik demonstrated how it is beginning to flex its muscles in America. More →
It was tough for BlackBerry Messenger fans to watch cross-platform apps like LINE and Kakaotalk hit hundreds of millions of downloads globally as BBM has stalled at around 60 million users. It was even more rankling to watch WeChat approach the 400 million download mark, and now even Nimbuzz has topped 130 million registered users. But the ultimate humiliation is now here before BBM finally launches for Android and iPhone. Its cross-town rival from the picturesque hamlet of Waterloo has now hit 80 million registered users globally. Waterloo, of course, has a population of 98,780. But BBM is no longer the most important messaging platform created there. More →
What makes Onavo’s AppRank chart so interesting is the sharp contrast it reveals compared to download charts. AppRank tells us what portion of iPhone owners use an app during a month; it describes actual engagement rather than how many consumers have downloaded an app. This is a crucial distinction, because consumers quickly lose interest in most apps they download, yet certain apps with small download volumes turn out to be highly addictive. The most important low-volume, high-engagement app cluster right now consists of new messaging apps gaining serious traction. Both Viber and Kik are hitting 5% engagement levels in America and are growing rapidly. More →
Nokia on Wednesday launched a WhatsApp phone that includes unlimited WhatsApp messaging rolled into the retail price. And the retail price is just $72. The Asha 210 has a dedicated WhatsApp button that gives instant access to the service. This is a bold move, since it effectively means the hardware is specifically designed to draw consumers away from SMS services, which are very lucrative for emerging market carriers. This move is the opening salvo in Nokia’s new bid to revive the flagging fortunes of its Asha feature phone line with new software features. More →
You know the popular messaging service Kik — the one that took-off like a wildfire in the California hills? Well, Research In Motion actually just filed a lawsuit against Kik claiming patent infringement. This is after RIM suddenly removed Kik from their App World distribution store in addition to terminating their developer account and access. The court filing is public, but we haven’t been able to find the claim yet. We’re assuming it has to do with how Kik visualizes sent, delivered, and read notifications, and have reached out to both Kik and RIM for comment and clarification. CEO of Kik, Ted Livingston, wouldn’t comment on the recently filed lawsuit, but said that Kik would “be putting something out” soon. With 2.5 million users after its launch a little more than a month ago, it’s very interesting to see how RIM is handling this situation, as Kik is one of the first — and largest — credible threats to their BlackBerry Messenger product. Should WhatsApp, PingChat, and other messaging services be worried now that RIM has decided to take legal action? We’ll do some digging and update this story when we hear back from RIM. More →
We were alerted to a blog post on Kik’s site just moments ago, and it seems that Research In Motion has not only removed Kik Messenger from its App World portal, but it has also disabled push services for existing users. We reached out to RIM for comment and here is the company’s official statement:
RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM’s support for Kik’s service.
If you’ve heard about the Kik messaging app, or as some would call it, “the new BBM”, you probably sat at the cool-kid lunch-table at school. Kik, a multi-platform messaging app designed to do one thing — communicate instantly and effortlessly with buddies — has absolutely exploded over the last few weeks. Originally on track to launch an innovative (and pretty cool) music-sharing, remote-controllable service, Kik soon found themselves creating a messaging app with some of their existing technology while the music service firmed up behind the scenes. After a pretty poor original launch (I tried Kik back then and the beta was definitely a beta — I uninstalled it soon after it was first installed), Kik stripped away almost everything until they ended up with one of the quickest and most reliable messaging apps around.
Kik has over 1.2 million unique users signed up, Kik CEO Ted Livingston told BGR yesterday evening. The company is expecting its user-base to cross the 1.75-million user mark any day. Ted even said that Kik had to charter a plane and load it up with extra servers to bring to their data center just to keep the service up and running to handle the influx of users. Kik’s growth is nothing short of remarkable, with a completely viral marketing initiative spreading like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter. What’s exciting is that Kik knows that their users expect an even better user experience, and even more features. Here is what Kik is planning on doing: More →