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Kik Messenger Buys Fashion App Blynk to Build More Chat Bots

All chat apps want you talking to a computer.


Kik announced Monday that it has acquired Blynk, a fashion app that also runs a chat bot on Kik’s messaging app to make suggestions to people on which outfits to wear (and hopefully convince them to make purchases, too).

Four people from Blynk, which is based in Toronto, will join Kik. The reason for the acquisition is relatively obvious: Kik wants to build more automated chat bots. It already operates a few of its own, but says that fashion is an area it plans to delve into. Blynk is supposed to help with that.

The entire chat bot strategy is representative of a much larger trend around automated messaging services. Chinese chat app WeChat does something similar with bots, and Facebook Messenger is building a virtual assistant to help users accomplish daily tasks. Kik also wants to help users accomplish tasks, but instead of creating one master assistant like Messenger, it plans to build a handful of bots, each specialized in one specific area (like shopping or travel).

The hope for all these messaging apps is that building software to chat with users will keep those users coming back to the app. A Kik spokesperson declined to share terms for the acquisition.

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