MESSAGING app Kik has announced it’s winding down as the company focuses on fighting a lawsuit against its cryptocurrency unit.
The controversial service had previously come under fire for its security levels, after reports of paedophiles speaking to children on the app. Here’s the latest.
What is Kik?
Kik – or Kik Messenger – is an instant messaging mobile app produced by the Canadian company Kik Interactive.
It was initially launched in October 2010.
The app had around 300million registered users around the world.
Users were able to sign up without a phone number and then message others via their username.
Why is it shutting down?
CEO Ted Livingston announced it was shutting down on September 24, 2019.
Mr Livingston said the company needed to focus current resources “on the few things that matter most”, Tech Crunch reports.
Kik is currently involved in a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and will reduce staff from 100 to 19 as it focuses on converting more Kin users to buyers.
Kin launched two years ago, and raised nearly $100milllion dollars.
But the SEC filed a lawsuit against Kik Interactive, claiming it was illegal. They also predicted Kik Messenger would run out of money.
However, Kik Interactive hit back in a court filing last month, claiming the SEC’s claims about its finances were “solely designed for misdirection, thereby prejudicing Kik and portraying it in a negative light”.
What did police say about the app?
The child protection head for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Chief Constable Simon Bailey said “children are at risk” on the app because it allows users to join anonymously without giving a phone number.
The number of referrals police received connected with the app over child abuse images has risen from a monthly average of 48 in 2016 to 195 in 2018.
In total, cops opened at least 1,500 investigations involving Kik in 2018.
The company last year told The Telegraph it was spending $10million (£7.6m) on improving security on the app.
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