How did I miss Kik Messenger? Free texting.

by Volker Weber

Kik Messenger is a free smartphone to smartphone chat application that replaces text messaging. It's crazy fast, fully cross-platform, and available free worldwide.

Somehow I missed a major thing last year. Kik launched a free texting service on iPhone, iPod, Android and BlackBerry. Then RIM sued them and the BlackBerry client went missing. Soon they will have a Windows Phone 7 client. 3 million users and growing by 10,000 to 15,000 users a day.

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Hmm, sieht für mich nach einem normalen IM-Client aus. Gibt es einen Unterschied z.B. zu Google Talk?

Ulf Jährig, 2011-01-19

Hmmm... reminds me of whatsapp ( Is that basically the same? Besides Whatsapp has a bigger coverage (does not miss the biggest smartphone platform on this planet like kik does).

Hubert Stettner, 2011-01-19

Is it me or why would I want to install another IM client on my phone, I already can get SMS, AIM, Twitter, 4square and a bunch of other messages to my phone.. I don't really need Kik.. maybe I'm just old and cranky about this.

Bryan McDade, 2011-01-19

The reason not to use SMS is that it is bloody expensive. Depending on your tariff of course. The going rate here is 10 to 19 ct per Message. Still people use that because it is available on ALL phones.

Volker Weber, 2011-01-19

Plus always on. And energy efficient (e.g. Whatsapp is not very on Symbian)...

Hubert Stettner, 2011-01-19

Ulf, der Unterschied ist, dass es keinen Google Talk client für's iPhone gibt.

Volker Weber, 2011-01-19

I found a url (here at where you can get the kik app for your Blackberry, if you want it.


Rocky Oliver, 2011-01-19

Hah, interesting.

Volker Weber, 2011-01-19

I have KiK, WhatsApp and all the others on my iPhone. What's making them different is how well they handle being behind a firewall. Using the (restricted) company's WiFi has side effects like not getting push notifications or not even connecting to the server at all. WhatsApp connection handling seems to be more robust, KiK has better looks though.

Henning Störk, 2011-01-20

Kein Google Talk Client für das iPhone? Was ist mit den zahlreichen Jabber-Clients?

Oliver Regelmann, 2011-01-20

Okay - ich habe kein iPhone. Und meine kurze Recherche (gg:google talk iphone) hatte einige Ergebnisse gebracht.

Allerdings gebe ich Oliver Recht: Google Talk ist ja nur XMPP. Bei Kik handele ich mir was proprietäres ein, oder? In soweit bin ich immer noch nicht überzeugt, dass ich dafür einen Download anstoßen möchte.

Ulf Jährig, 2011-01-20

Ok. I can see some people using that if they have a data plan, but most mobile contracts com with some sort of amount of SMS's in the base price, unless you are prepaid/pay-as-you-go type deal then it is per message. Problem is with Roaming, you get hit with a charge per KB, and even if they say each message sent/received is 1KB it's nothing but it's the data traffic to keep your update status alive that would really end up costing money. I know a friend who was using his phone while roaming (outside of germany) and got hit with at 2000euro phone bill because he didn't realize that it would be so much. Never us your phone outside of your home country in data mode because so many of these programs now use a lot of background data to keep everything updated. The problem is that most people don't see it, like a simple thing like checking the weather, bam! there's a euro gone. If you told someone that you would tell them the weather for 1euro they would tell you to get lost however the hidden phone charges it happens.

Bryan McDade, 2011-01-20

One of my daughter's has an iPhone on a PYG basis. Recently she installed some games, which un-beknown to us connected back to base "keeping it updated". What we also did not know was that the carrier charges 1p per data connection, regardless of the size and in addition to the cost of data transmitted. We found the games were connecting +10 times per hour. Each game. Her credit was gone very quickly.

Ian Bradbury, 2011-01-20

Ian, go to Settings, General, Network and hit the second switch: "Cellular Data" and set it to off. She can still go online with Wi-Fi but will not incur data cost.

Bryan, yes, data roaming is outrageous. But the carriers do send you an SMS warning you.

Volker Weber, 2011-01-20

@Volker - thanks for the tip.

Ian Bradbury, 2011-01-20

i tried both, whatsapp and kik, the differences after my experience:

kik is free, whatsapp not (99ct / 0,79EUR).
kik has no character limit per message, whatsapp does.
kik cannot sent pictures, whatsapp does.
kik is really fast in everything, whatsapp isn't.

so i went for kik :)

ludwig coenen, 2011-01-20

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