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Messaging App Kik Launched a bot store

Messaging App Kik Launched a bot store

Officially Kik is the first messenger app out of the gate with its specific bot store, that the company considers will be critical to the success of not only its future; but the future of all messenger apps.

Kik wants to perform its part in making our life easier. Tuesday, April 5th, the Canada-based messaging service declared that a bot store within the app, through which users will be able to talk about lifestyle, entertainment, and games with 16 available bots. The technology had been established with the help of partners, including H&M, Funny or Die, and The Weather Channel. 

Kik CEO, Ted Livingston, said: "We want our users to have more fun and engaging experiences in Kik without having to leave the app. 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 application allows user converse with bots, collect customer service, and get information on general topics. The user no longer needs to change to a weather app for updates, since Weather bot does it for a user within the Kik app. Kik, that has 275 million users, has signed up 16 partners with make-up store Sephora and The Weather Channel. The Kik Bot Shop deals mini-apps that user can add to their account and either chat to directly or use in their chats with others.

Kik is also permitting developers to make their own bots offer in Kik's Bot Shop, as it's called. The company will support each one before it's presented in the store, and users can locate new bots by tapping on "Find People" in Kik's search bar. The user can also check out Kik bots on the web. 

“This is the first time we’re putting a stake in the ground and creating a specific experience with bots front and center,” says Kik CEO and founder Ted Livingston. Furthermore, third-party developers can upload their bots to Kik without having to work directly with the company.

eMarketer appraised that last year 1.4 billion people used a chat app. But Kik has arrived into an increasingly crowded marketplace, joining the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, Slack, and Skype. Roberts considers that his company can stand out by constructing a better experience. He observed that the industry at large wants to build bot platforms, but everyone is still trying to figure out how to improve them accurately.

Roberts said Kik has an additional advantage because of its audience: “Developers looking for a mobile-first audience that understands the importance of bots and a conversational interface will find that on Kik.”

Currently, there are 16 bots in the shop: Vine, Riffsy, ClipDisBot, Funny or Die, Sequel Stories, J14, Candles, GalatronVS, TicTacToeBot, Arterra, The Weather Channel, Sephora, MakeoverBot, HM, Secret Admirer, and KikPoints. Kik is free and up on Android, iOS, Windows 10 and Amazon's app stores.  

Bots are more and more gaining power in the mobile communication space, thanks to advances in natural language processing that permit artificial intelligence-based services to be baked into existing chat apps. 

“The widespread distribution and usage of messaging platforms have created immense potential for bots,” said Eyal Pfeifel, cofounder and chief technology officer for Impersonate. “Bots will assume many different roles, as diverse as the publishers that create them. Use cases range from entertainment, marketing and promotions, e-commerce, travel, news, personal assistants, and customer service agents, all the way to virtual friends and companions.”

Next week Facebook is estimated to introduce a bot platform at its F8 developer conference but that will not change the point that Kik was first out of the gate and now has brands and developers on board.


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