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RIM Pulled Kik Messenger Over “Number of Issues and Customer Concerns”

kik suspended Word has been slim on why Kik messenger is no longer available for new users. The service was really taking off as a cross platform messenger alternative to SMS. Personally I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just use Google Talk but I can see the value of a cross platform BlackBerry Messenger clone.

Rumors have been swirling around that RIM pulled Kik due to it being a competitor of BlackBerry Messenger but I doubt it. RIM actually went on record to Engadget stating that:

"RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service and, following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World. RIM is actively reviewing the issues and potential resolutions, and is also continuing its discussions with Kik."

Chris hypothesizes that RIM was not happy about how Kik farms your address book for contacts but even that seems a bit slim. Currently we still have no idea exactly why Kik has been kicked to the curb but I have a few ideas. They may have overloaded the BIS-B infrastructure that RIM provides which is the only way to make a solid internet connection from a BlackBerry. That bandwidth is provided by RIM and I am not sure they would appreciate the influx though I cannot imagine that IM+ and other instant messengers don’t cause the same traffic load. At first I thought that RIM only pulled Kik because Kik’s own servers were being overloaded with users but that does not seem to be the case… There is still no update from Kik on their own website or their blog other than this post from November 12th:

Hey Kiksters – the dizzying pace of growth has caught up with us – again. The flood of new Kik users has placed an overwhelming strain on system resources, so new downloads of Kik Messenger for BlackBerry® devices have been temporarily suspended. Kik Messenger service for all existing users, including BlackBerry® users, is unaffected, as are new downloads to iPhone and Android devices.

Most of all, we offer sincere thanks to our users. We are truly honored that so many people have joined the Kik community so fast, and we’re grateful for your loyalty. If you are a BlackBerry® user seeking to download Kik, we apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience. We look forward to welcoming you as new Kiksters as soon as possible. As you know, there’s lots more coming up at Kik. It’s been an amazing ride so far, and we’re just getting started.

– Your Kik Team

What do you think is the reason Kik was pulled?

10 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I was wondering why they stopped new downloads of Kik only for Blackberry’s. Hope they straighten it out soon though. Blackberry needs to stay abreast of the most popular cross-platform apps to remain competitive in the smart phone marketplace.

  2. KIK is certainly getting a lot of free press off of this. I have the app on my BB and it is very nice. I still have not decided if I prefer it or pingchat!. It is faster than pingchat! but not as full featured. Also, it seems to be down a lot. I have also noticed that KIK drains my battery pretty badly. As the Applications app in OS6 allows you to monitor CPU use and KIK remains active even when “closed”, pingchat even with push notifications on does not do this.

    Both apps are still pretty new so I am keeping an open mind.

  3. P.S. the problem with Google Talk as a cross-platform solution is that there is no native Google Talk client for the iPhone. There are two ways to use Google Talk on the iPhone, buy an IM client or use the web app that Google provides. Neither solution is conducive to mass adoption especially when the free solution advanced by Google does not have notifications.

  4. My totally unsubstantiated WAG is that Kik was doing something that’s “not allowed” of apps that are hosted in App World. Whether that be how it harvests contact info, or how it was using BlackBerry data transport (undocumented API?), or whatever.

    The hilarious part is all the blogs that were jumping up and down the other day when it first disappeared. All espousing all sorts of conspiracy theories and the like, not taking into consideration that if ANY of their speculation were TRUE the app would have surfaced quickly for download elsewhere (MobiHand, GetJAR, direct from Kik site, etc.). It didn’t, and still hasn’t, so I suspect they decided they better fix whatever it was they were doing on BlackBerry platform that was “no-no” and play nice in the sandbox. Once they re-surface I suppose we’ll know for sure though.

    • Very well thought and reasonable explanation David. I would put $$$ on your hypothesis since the app is not available on any distribution channel. RIM charges 3rd party apps for using BIS. Perhaps they were using it without authorization from RIM.

  5. Frazzled, woulda thought tthe iphone would have gtalk… I guess there an app for that, but not the one you want..

    • I suspect the problem was that up until fairly recently an IM client could not run in the background on the iPhone and that would kinda neuter an IM client.

  6. this is just a shame…what about other apps like WhatsApp

  7. Guess uncle RIM is watching our backs. I don’t like apps that goes through my BlackBerry belongings like conatcts. So if that’s the case, I’m glad I wasn’t using Kik. All of the other IM clients like Gtalk, AIM are cross platform & popular. If I need to text someone on a nother platform I can use SMS

  8. Yea… There is still whatsapp to consider don’t we?

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