WATERLOO, Ontario, April 5, 2016 – Kik Interactive, maker of chat network Kik, today opened their platform to third-party developers with the launch of the Bot Shop. Bots provide a low-friction way of delivering fun, engaging, and useful services through chat. Now anyone can build a bot for Kik, which has more than 275 million registered users. Approximately 40 percent of U.S teens use the app.
Kik’s Bot Shop is launching with four categories – entertainment, gaming, and utilities – and 15 bots, including Funny Or Die, Riffsy, Sephora, The Weather Channel, and Vine. Kik has also named four launch partners – imperson, Massively, Outbrain and Sequel – that will be tasked with helping developers and companies build bots. Kik is inviting all developers to start making bots via its bot API, available at dev.kik.com.
“We want our users to have more fun and engaging experiences in Kik without having to leave the app,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik. “We’ve been innovating in chat in the last few years and have found that the best results come from low-friction experiences that don’t hurt the simplicity of chat. Bots deliver that.”
The arrival of Kik’s Bot Shop comes amid a series of consumer Internet trends that suggest the time is ripe for chat bots. In 2015, 1.4 billion people used a chat app, according to eMarketer. At the same time, people have stopped downloading new apps in large numbers. More than 70 percent of U.S. total smartphone app usage comes from just 200 apps, according to a June 2015 report by Nielsen. And a late 2014 study by Comscore found that that two-thirds of smartphone users downloaded zero apps in the last month.
“When we built the Funny Or Die bot on Kik in 2014, we were able to focus on building a great experience for our fans without worrying about user acquisition, and within the first three months, we were chatting with 1.5 million Kik users,” said Patrick Starzan, SVP marketing & GM social media at Funny Or Die. “We’re looking forward to continuing to push the boundaries of chat as it becomes central to mobile computing.”
“Our mission at Outbrain is to serve audiences the best personalized content experience, wherever they are,” said John LoGioco, EVP at Outbrain. “Messaging is the next frontier and where audiences are already spending their digital lives. As the bot revolution unfolds, we’re excited to help publishers deliver great content experiences in Kik.”
To coincide with the Bot Shop launch, Kik will release three new chat bots features: web bubbles (“wubbles”) for sharing rich media content in conversation threads; suggested responses to help expedite text input; and a mention feature that allows bots to participate in conversation threads involving multiple parties, including groups.
To chat with your first bot, go to: bots.kik.com.
About Bot Shop
The Bot Shop is a platform for third-party developers to build bots on Kik. Bots provide a low-friction way of delivering fun, engaging, and useful services through chat, and give developers the opportunity to reach Kik’s 275 million registered users. For more information, please visit: bots.kik.com.
About Kik Interactive, Inc.
Kik Interactive, Inc., connects the world through chat. The company is the maker of Kik, a chat network with more than 275 million registered users and 40 percent of U.S. teens where people can chat with friends and connect with chat-based services. Founded in 2009, Kik Interactive, Inc. is headquartered in Waterloo, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto. For more information, please visit: kik.com.