Kik Messenger: How to successfully market apps
Kik Interactive recently announced it had reached 3 million users on its mobile app. Kik had a very rapid adoption in the first few weeks of launch, but after being removed from the RIM app world, things started to simmer down. Here’s the histroic timeline:
- Oct 19: Kik Messenger is launched.
- Nov 5: Kik has 1 million users.
- Nov 12: 2 million users download the app.
- Nov 15: Kik is removed from RIM’s app world.
- Nov 30: RIM files lawsuit.
- Jan 6: Kik passes 3 million user mark.
In less than 3 months Kik reached 3 million users – a feat that took Foursquare 1.5 years to accomplish. The million dollar question is how did Kik get this market reaction?
Kik’s recipe for success
Kik has done a few things right, from getting out a good product, striking a chord with users and marketing in the right channels. Here’s the break down of the main reason behind its success:
- The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has a real-time confirmation feature. Kik has something similar and offers it for free.
- BBM users didn’t need to be educated on this feature. They understood it immediately and appreciated that Kik worked with other platforms, not just BlackBerry.
- So a feature the users understand and a value proposition that is simple – why wouldn’t users flock to the app?
BlackBerry users tried the app and help spread it amongst friends who were on different phones (Andriod and iPhones). What also helped the viral spread is the automatic “scanning address book” function. Kik also actively engaged users on Facebook, their blog and Twitter. And lastly, they also did a good job courting the press which helped raise brand awareness even more.
Overall Kik is a good story to learn from, especially if you’re in the business of making mobile apps. Of course if you ask RIM, they may disagree on this. They have filed a lawsuit on patent infringement against Kik. That would explain why you only see Kik on the iPhone and Andriod platform – but no longer on the BlackBerry.