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RIM Issues Statement on Kik Messenger Debacle – What Did Kik Do?

Kik LogoI cannot think of a better way to describe Kik for BlackBerry other than a “Debacle.” Kik Messenger was a promising cross platform messenger service that supported the BlackBerry platform and it looks like it will no longer do so.

RIM sent us the following statement which vaguely states their side of the issue:

RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM’s support for Kik’s service.

From how I am reading this situation it seems like Kik did something so gruesome that RIM just wanted to wash their hands clean. There are quite a few other services that offer similar features like Kik yet they seem to continue to enjoy RIM’s grace. If RIM was worried about the competitive BBM features then they would have nixed Kik in the bud along with its competitors. My guess is that it has something to do with how Kik mined your address book for contacts and possibly sent it to their servers (securely?).

Personally I never really understood how Kik took off since it was a battery eater and really slowed down my Torch but to each his own. Still I thought the service was innovative and had enough viral energy to actually make it and somewhat replace SMS for cross platform conversations.

This is still the first time I have heard of RIM revoking the signing keys of a developer and just calling it quits. They don’t have that many dedicated BlackBerry developers where they can afford to do this often and it seems like this was done due to something only Kik did.

Now I am deadly curious to find out exactly what it was they did… Send us a tip if you have any leads!

6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Well, but whatsapp also mined our contacts..

    • whatsapp has actually address this directly and stated that no inform is kept on their servers. I even think that went so far as to say that none of the information from this scan ever reaches their servers.

      • I don’t care what these companies say, I just refuse to keep any app that requires access to my PIM/address book data to run. I always deny access. If the app refuses to run, good-bye! I can always use the device memory on something else. That’s why I uninstalled Kik and have uninstalled many other apps immediately after the first try.

        If I were RIM, I would ban apps that impose such unreasonable requirements, but well, I am not RIM. I would do a lot of things about the BlackBerry differently if I had the power.

        • What really burns me is devs that take the easy way out and just ask for “trusted application” status. I really hate that.

  2. Yeah maybe its not the contact mining. Maybe it is insecure protocols?

  3. I’ve suspected they did something particularly gruesome in violation of some contract or App World agreement, but I’m not sure we will ever know exactly what unless Kik themselves decides to make this a public fight. RIM is normally pretty staid, I don’t expect they would ever “out” Kik.

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