The app named in murder, rape and kidnapping cases is finally shutting down, but not for why you think.
In a surprising move to many, the developers of the messaging app “Kik” is shutting it down. The app, available for iOS and Android devices was one of the more popular messaging/chat apps among teens and pre-teens. At one time the company claimed some 300 million users and 40% of teenagers said they used it.
In a blog post on the platform Medium, Kik’s Ted Livingston announced the app would be shut down and said it was so the company could focus on its attention toward a lawsuit with the SEC over its crypto-currency “Kin”.
Kik was launched in 2010 as one of the first messaging apps where anyone could sign up to start chatting with other users. What set it apart and gave it the potential for danger was that it did not require to register an email or phone number to use the app.
Over the last 9 years, the app became the center of investigations involving child exploitation, bullying, rape, and even murder. In 2016 the app was mentioned in the case of a 13-year-old girl named Nicole Lovell who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by two people who she met on the app. In Alabama, a man pled guilty to the attempted kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl he met on Kik. He was arrested after attempting to check the girl out of school.
Kik is still being used by millions of teenagers and pre-teens every day and there’s no word when the app will stop working. When I signed up for the app on Tuesday I received over 40 messages and notifications within 15 minutes.
Other popular chatting apps are WeChat, Facebook’s What’s App, Line, and Viber. Fortunately, all of those apps have better privacy settings than Kik did and require a verified email address or phone number.