Kik Messenger doesn't go away after all.
A month after Kik Messenger's creator announced that he would quit the app to focus on other business interests, L.A. Based MediaLab continues to operate.
MediaLab, which also owns an anonymous messaging app, Whisper, said, “Even if we have a passion for dubious cartoons or favorite football teams, Kik has demonstrated the incredible ability to provide a platform to build new friendships through mobile phones. In a post explaining why I bought Kik Messenger, "As a group of non-conforming people, we resonated with Kik ethos and felt that this was a community we continued to help."
In the future, MediaLab said it plans to improve the usability of messaging apps. Initial efforts include making Kik Messenger "faster, more stable, and less buggy" while keeping spambots and unwanted messages out.
MediaLab said a new round of development work has allowed it to pull out a number of unoptimized features, including video chat toggles and third-party bot platforms, but RageBot will continue to use it.
The new owner also claimed to be in listening mode and urged the user community to submit ideas directly to the company.
A major change in the coming weeks will be the introduction of ads that pay for the maintenance and development of Kik Messenger, but MediaLab promises to be “noninvasive.”
Kik's CEO and founder, Ted Livingston, announced last month that his messaging app was closed, allowing his team to focus resources on defending Kin cryptocurrency in court battles with regulators. In particular, MediaLab believes Kin's long-term potential and plans to expand its integration with Kik Messenger.
Kik Messenger has about 15 million users per month, but I'm not sure how many of these have switched to other messaging apps.
Also, it's not clear how many of Kik Messenger's 100 team members will retain their jobs just because they have a new owner in the app.
I have contacted MediaLab to find out more and will update this article if I hear this news.