Kik Messenger Remains a Contender in Messaging App Space

Kik Messenger Google Play app iconIt’s been a wild year so far in the global mobile messaging app space. With many more months left in 2014, the dust has yet to settle on the messaging app battlefield.

Major messaging app players have been acquired, funded or added a significant amount of new features in 2014.

In February, Japanese Internet giant Rakuten acquired messaging app provider Viber Media for $900 million. A few days later, Facebook purchased mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. The following month, U.S. IPO-bound Albiaba from China led the latest round of funding for messaging service Tango, investing $215 million of the $280 million in the round.

In early May, ephemeral photo messaging startup Snapchat added a text chat component to its mobile app. The new text messaging feature put Snapchat in the same realm as messaging app juggernauts such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

One messaging app that has kept developing new features is Kik Messenger from Watlerloo, Ontario-based Kik Interactive.

We flipped through estimated downloads data from Distimo AppIQ to benchmark Kik’s current foothold in the messaging app space.

Kik downloads shareThe first nugget of data that stood out to us was Kik’s total global downloads share on the Apple App Store in Saudi Arabia (above). In Saudi Arabia, Kik generated the fourth-most downloads in the country in Q1 2014, which equated to 3.42 percent of its total global downloads — just shy of third place Canada with a 3.47 percent share.

In addition, Kik’s total global downloads on the Apple App Store were top-heavy in the U.S. —  generating 63 percent of its total global downloads in Q1 2014.

Since Kik had such a strong presence in the U.S. last quarter, we looked to our leaderboards in Distimo App Analytics to see who Kik was rubbing elbows with in the social networking category in Q1 2014. On our U.S. iPhone top Social Networking free AppIQ leaderboard for Q1 2014, we found that Kik was ranked No. 4 and among top messaging apps, Facebook Messenger (No. 1) and WhatsApp (No. 3), in the top 10.

Kik vs. Facebook Messenger vs. WhatsAppAmong the three messaging apps, Kik accounted for 28 percent of the total U.S. downloads in Q1 2014 for iPhone — nearly the same downloads share as WhatsApp with 28 percent (above).

At the present, Kik is holding its own among the top messaging apps. We look forward to seeing what they do the next.


Scott Reyburn