Kik Messenger CEO Ted Livingston has announced that the iOS and Android messaging service will be shut down. The decision to shutter Kik was made not because the app receives poor engagement or user downloads, but because the company is in the midst of a legal battle with the SEC over its "Kin" cryptocurrency.
In a blog post, Livingston explained that at this point Kik is one of the largest apps in the United States, with industry leading engagement amid a recent growth period over the past few months. Nevertheless, the team has decided to shut down Kik, reduce the company from over 100 employees to just 19, and focus on converting more users into Kin buyers.
Livingston said that no matter what happens to Kik, the Kin cryptocurrency is "here to stay."
While we are ready to take on the SEC in court, we underestimated the tactics they would employ. How they would take our quotes out of context to manipulate the public to view us as bad actors. How they would pressure exchanges not to list Kin. And how they would draw out a long and expensive process to drain our resources.
Together these changes will drop our burn rate by eighty five percent, putting us in position to get through the SEC trial with the resources we have.
Kik Messenger provides users with a way to connect to friends and family through text messaging, group chats, and video chats. The app doesn't require users to enter a phone number or connect it to a social network platform, so it was appealing to users interested in anonymity, letting them sign up with any name and an email address.
It's unclear exactly when the company plans to shut down Kik for good.