What is Kik and How Does It Work?

Last updated: December 12, 2016 - 2:28pm EST

One of the biggest challenges (or paradoxes, as some may call it) of the age of the Internet and social media is how to reach out to new friends and express yourself in a social setting while keeping your privacy intact.  Kik Messenger is a communication tool that attempts to strike that balance.  On the one hand, it is accessible on all sorts of mobile devices, and has loads of cool features that you would expect from today's social networks.  You can chat through text, send pictures or video messages, draw pictures, create memes, and even browse the Internet for fun things to do!  And on the other hand, Kik has strong privacy features to make sure that you stay in control of who you talk to and what you say to them.

So what exactly is Kik?

Kik is a social messaging app for mobile devices.  Users can chat with other Kik users or automated programs in various ways, such as through texts, pictures, videos, or Internet links.  Users can also browse a private network of Kik-sponsored websites for fun things to do and share with other Kik users.

What is Kik used for?

As we mentioned, Kik is mainly used for its unique features that mimic those of social networks.  Thus, it is most popular among younger people.  However, features such as not needing a phone number to verify an account, and secure messaging that can't be traced, make it popular among the privacy-conscious.

How does Kik work: 4 steps to using Kik Messenger

1. Download Kik Messenger for free, and sign up for a free account.

Kik Messenger is free to download and use, and works on most major mobile devices powered by Google Android, Apple iOS, and Windows operating systems.  Plus, unlike certain other messaging apps like Kik, you don't need a phone number to verify your account; you just need an email address (and be over 13 years old).  Your experience on Kik revolves around your user name, helping protect the privacy of your other information.

Signing up for a Kik account

2. Find people to chat with on Kik Messenger, or talk to automated programs instead.

Once you have Kik Messenger all set up, you'll need to find people to talk to.  You can have Kik match people in your device's address book to known Kik users, scan a special image to add someone as a contact, or search for a person by name or user name.  If there's nobody to talk to right now, you can also download "bots", automated programs that respond to you based on what you message them.  You might get a laugh or some information, or you may even be able to play a game!

Finding contacts to chat with on Kik

3. Get your message across on Kik Messenger in one or more of numerous ways.

Sure, you can just write a simple text message to someone on Kik, but where's the fun in that?  Jazz up your communication a little!  Send someone a picture from your device's internal memory, or record a video message and let someone hear your voice!  You can also draw someone a picture or create an Internet meme for them, or share a popular video from the Internet!

Options for putting together a Kik message

4.  Use the Kik browser to find fun stuff to do and share on Kik Messenger from the web.

You can access the Kik browser from the main screen on Kik, or from a conversation.  There, you can browse a selection of web pages from Kik's network; some let you play games, others give you information on certain brands and trends, and still others will give you a laugh or some inspirational advice to brighten your day!  You can even share what you find with other users on Kik!

Browsing web pages on the Kik browser


That's a brief introduction to what Kik is and what it can do!  Before we dive any further into how it works, however, we're going to give you some safety and privacy tips for using Kik.


Mark_complete_sm Back_to_course Go to Kik

More Kik Tutorials

See all 9 Kik tutorials

Did you learn what you wanted to?

Was something in this tutorial missing, confusing, or out of date? Or did it give you all the information you needed, and you just want to say "thanks"? We'd love to hear what you thought!