What Is The Kik App, And Should We Be Using It?

Everything you need to know about the messaging app making a comeback…

Woman using an app on her phone

by Lydia Spencer-Elliott and Charlotte Roberts |
Updated on

Whatsapp, Threads, Instagram - in today's world, one app to keep in contact with your close pals is simply not enough. With new social media platforms emerging every day (and some old ones making a comeback), there's a million and one ways to keep up with your friends.

And prepare to add another one to your roster, because apparently the kids are back on Kik. Yep, that Kik. So, allow us to talk you through everything you need to know about the retro app that's seemingly making a slow and steady reappearance…

What is the Kik app?

Let us travel back in time to 2010, when the cool crowd's Blackberry BBM left the rest of us silently crying on the sidelines. Kik appeared as the new kid on the block, allowing iPhone and Android users to get in on the instant messaging fun.

Essentially, it’s just a free messaging app that allows you to use your email address to sign up and automatically moves all your phone’s contacts over onto the app. More than a decade after it first launched, Kik is still proving popular because it has more privacy and anonymity compared to other apps like Whatsapp or iMessage. Unlike the others, there's no need to verify your phone number - meaning you can totally hide your identity, for better or for worse.

Is Kik a dating app?

Primarily, Kik is designed for messaging friends and not for finding the love of your life. But the platform does encourage romantic chats through two of its internal apps: Flirt! And Match & Chat. Sort of like Kik’s answer to Tinder, you can swipe left or right to chat to different users and they can swipe to find you, too.

What is Kik Friend Finder?

Many users want to match with strangers and strike up some conversations - which is why users have taken it upon themselves to set up websites such as Kik Friend Finder.

Users can post a brief description of themselves and what they're looking for on the page, alongside their username for other kik users to find them. Warning: it's not all entirely PG.

But the website is bringing another issue for Kik users. Some are finding their usernames being uploaded onto the website without their permission, resulting in an influx of unwanted (and often explicit) chats.

Why is the Kik app controversial?

Going online and chatting to strangers isn’t a new concept. After all, we've all lived through AOL chatrooms, MSN, Chat Roulette and Omegle...

But what’s worrying about Kik is the increased anonymity. You can sign up with only an email address, and not even a phone number is required. There's nothing tying you to your actual identity, and it only takes two minutes to set up a new email account. Essentially, you really can be anyone you want on Kik.

This simplified sign up process has long proved dangerous with the app’s young users. In January 2016, a 25-year-old man from Louisiana was convicted of using Kik to extort naked photos from young girls aged between 8 and 14. And earlier this year, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation branded the app a 'predator's paradise.' Apple’s App store now recommends the app should only be used by people over the age of 17.

How do you delete your Kik account?

If this has left you ready to say goodbye to the app for good, deleting your Kik account is very simple. Just open the Kik account deletion page, enter your username and email address, write in the form why you’re leaving Kik, agree that you’re permanently deleting your account and click go. You’ll then get a deactivation email, which includes a link to permanently delete your account. One tap, and you're done.

But if you’re not quite sure whether you can say farewell to the app for good, you can also temporarily deactivate your account. To do that, you'll want to open the Kik account deactivation portal, enter your email address and click go. Then pop on over to the email you are sent and click the deactivation link in your latest message from Kik. If you want to come back to Kik later, just sign back into the app using your details to reactivate your account.

No social media is inherently good or bad, and it's all down to how we use them - but it's worth reminding yourselves to always keep your wits about you.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us