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Popular Mobile Messaging App Kik Aims to Cut the Text Spam

Spam no more? With Kik's new features, we can only hope.


Mobile messaging apps are blowing up.

And for the many, many choices out there, there’s a boatload of text spam coming with it.

That’s why Kik, the fast-growing text and media messenger app for smartphones, is trying to create more ways to keep you from getting an inbox full of crummy texts.

In an update launched on Tuesday, you’ll be able to block, ignore or delete messages from people you don’t know on Kik. And if you don’t already know someone on Kik or off, you don’t have to view the incoming message at all.

The solution, then, is something akin to what Facebook and Snapchat have implemented in the past. It’s easy to chat with people you know, but requires a little more effort to start talking to people you don’t.

It’s much needed. I use and enjoy Kik, but I regularly get messages from spammy bots on the service. (They’re usually offering some sort of weird sex chat via text message. It’s odd.) Though as many have professed, the hallmark of any popular service is the growth of spam — a backhanded humblebrag of sorts. Just ask Snapchat.

At the same time, Kik has to add the new features carefully. After all, part of Kik’s value proposition is that it lets you interact with many new people you aren’t connected to in your real life, and that’s a big draw for young people who use the service.

The implementation, then, is key. Make sure the communication barriers are strong enough to keep out spam, yet porous enough to allow for new connections and, thus, further growth and interaction across the 120 million-user service.

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