Kik Messenger Company Launches KinIt Beta App
Kik just launched its standalone app, KinIt on the Google Play Store. The app is the first part of Kik’s proposed crypto and blockchain-powered ecosystem.
Kik originally explained its “product vision” for the KinIt app in January 2018. Today, that vision became a reality as the app appeared on the Google Play Store. You can download the app from the Play Store or online at Kik.com.
Kik has designed the KinIt app as the “home base for the Kin ecosystem.” It’s a “place where all of Kin’s functionalities can be explored.”
The Kin ecosystem is a proposed blockchain and crypto-powered ecosystem. The ecosystem will allow users to earn cryptocurrency and then spend that crypto on real products and services.
The fact that Kik is launching Kin is a big deal. As explained by CCN.com, the KinIt app “has the potential to instantly become the largest consumer-facing cryptocurrency app.”
Another key part of the Kin ecosystem is the fact that Kik is encouraging developers to build on the platform. The ecosystem officially launched last Wednesday. Kik is paying up to 25 developers a total of nearly $3 million to create and maintain independent “Kin economies” over a 6 month period.
The ecosystem is built on the Kin Blockchain, which actually consists of two different blockchains. Kin, the digital token, was originally supposed to be an ERC20 token. However, the Ethereum network on which ERC20 tokens are based was “far too easily congested to support the kind of user base Kin is aiming for,” as explained by CCN.com. The team then planned to use Stellar for its fast transaction times and cheap costs. However, the Kin team was unsatisfied with Stellar’s market capitalization and liquidity, which is why they forked Stellar’s code base to create the Kin Blockchain.
In other words, the Kin Blockchain is a fork of the Stellar blockchain. This is the blockchain that will be used for internal transactions. Ethereum, meanwhile, will be used for external transactions and to provide Kin holders with liquidity.
The final part of the ecosystem is the KinIt standalone app, which is the app released on the Google Play Store today.
As explained back in January, the goal of the app is to allow users to navigate the Kin ecosystem.
The app, if you download it today, is pretty simple. You open the app, then see a typical onboarding screen. Users are asked to enter their phone number. Then, you’ll be asked to confirm your number. You then arrive at the home screen to take a quiz. The app will ask why you downloaded it and how you plan on using the app. After answering these questions, you earn 80 kin and are told to come back tomorrow once you’ve completed additional tasks.
Why would you want to earn Kin? Kin can be spent on gift cards ranging from $5 to $25. However, you’ll need more than 80 Kin to redeem anything.
In promotional videos for the KinIt app, we see the app asking fun questions and then rewarding users with Kin. Users are asked how many pounds a tiger can consume at one time, for example, and which brands the users are aware of. You can even answer some questions with emojis.
The app has been in private beta for a few weeks. During the 10 day beta period, the app achieved a 10 day retention rate of 75%, which means just 1 in 4 users uninstalled the app within 10 days of installing it. That’s significantly higher than the industry average 10-day retention rate of 30%.
Two thirds of KinIt app users also used the app for at least 3 weeks.
How Does Kik Plan to Make Money Through the App?
Kik raised $100 million earlier this year through an ICO. This money was raised on top of the $120.5 million in venture capital funding the company has received since being founded.
Meanwhile, the Kik app has 15 million users per month.
How does Kik plan to monetize the Kin ecosystem? CCN.com spoke with the company’s VP of Communications, Rod McLeod to answer that question:
“Rod explained to me that the whole goal behind the beta was to help the company learn lessons from integrating Kin into Kinit, get Kin into more consumer hands and “figure out how to monetize and compete” with the bigger apps. He further explained that the app was currently being subsidized by the Kin foundation while they learned more about the users.”
The long-term goal of the KinIt app is to serve as the entry point into the larger Kin ecosystem. Third parties – like existing social networks and online entities – will be encouraged to join that ecosystem.
In the interview linked above, McLeod used Reddit as an example. Kin could be used to reward moderators of subreddits on Reddit. Moderators could receive Kin tokens in exchange for their work.
Kik has already partnered with other companies to provide Kik-based incentives. Last month, Kik announced a partnership with IMVU, for example.
You can download the Kin app for Android today here: https://www.kik.com/kin/. Scroll down to the bottom and select iOS or Android. Then, enter your phone number to download the app. Kik will send you a message with a link to the app. The app is also available to download for Android from the Google Play Store.
Ultimately, Kik’s Kin ecosystem could become the largest cryptocurrency and blockchain-based ecosystem on the planet. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has ambitious goals for the future – and $100 million in ICO funding to achieve those goals.