If you're over the age of 20, you most likely have never used Kik. The app — which is mostly popular among teens — has gained millions of users across the globe since it first launched in 2010. However, in a blog post from Sept. 23, the company said it would be shutting down all operations.
And since it's so popular, you're probably wondering, "why is Kik shutting down?" Here's everything you need to know.
Why is Kik shutting down? The app is facing a major lawsuit.
Two years ago, Kik released a form of cryptocurrency called Kin, according to TechCrunch, and basically the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is threatening to file a lawsuit against them for cutting corners in selling digital coins.
The lawsuit made Kik choose between labeling Kin as a security, or fighting the SEC in court. And in the end, the brand decided they would rather focus on Kin, and completely shut down Kik.
Money-wise, this will ideally allow the company to get through the SEC trial without too much trouble. And in the end, they will reportedly be able to keep Kin up and running.
"... No matter what happens to Kik, Kin is here to stay," Ted Livingston, Kik's CEO said in the blog post.
Kik will reportedly have to lay off hundreds of people, ultimately downsizing to a 19-person team. So far, the company hasn't specified an end date for the app, but it seems as though the end is near.
However, this isn't the first time Kik has faced criticism.
Because the messaging app enables its users to send anonymous instant messages, Kik is often plagued by harassment and child abuse, according to Forbes.
There have been several cases in which children have unknowingly communicated with older adults, exchanging photos and inappropriate messages. Earlier this year, the FBI seized an account that had been running groups that had been generating illegal imagery.
The brand is now focusing on expanding Kin's customer base.
Based on the company's blog post, it seems as though the brand is mostly focusing on increasing Kin's number of users. According to the blog post, after making cuts, Kin's "one goal" will be to get "millions of people to buy Kin to use it."
They plan to do this by increasing the cryptocurrency app's user base, and by making the app easier to use. So hopefully that works out for them, for the sake of its employees.
Obviously, Kik's audience is incredibly disappointed by the shutdown.
This shutdown comes as a surprise to Kik users everywhere.
After almost a decade of using Kik to connect with other users across the country, users are seriously devastated it's officially shutting down. Take a look at their reactions to the announcement, below.
After a full nine years in business, it's officially time to wave "goodbye" to Kik Messenger. While I — personally — had no emotional ties to the app, it connected millions of users across the globe for almost an entire decade.
Will society end up reverting back to good old AOL Instant Messenger, or will we simply continue using the ability to text and call every once in a while? Nobody knows where we'll go from here, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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