Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

May 12, 2014

Kik's New Virtual Currency, Kik Points, Goes Live

Incentives drive a lot of business. Easily, one of the best ways to get people to do what's desired of said people is to offer some kind of incentive. Whether it's a positive incentive to encourage some behavior, or a negative incentive to counter it, incentives drive a lot of operations. The Kik instant messenger service has discovered the truest value of incentives, and is bringing out a full program regarding same in the form of Kik Points, a kind of virtual currency that allows users to get better engaged with the app.

Kik is actually doing well in the United States market, reportedly beating both Snapchat and WhatsApp, among others. But there hasn't been much news out of the company, and things have been comparatively quiet, especially in a market where Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. But Kik and its Kik Points program may have just the solution for that comparative silence, by spurring on its users with rewards for accomplishing a variety of functions. For instance, Kik Points can be handed out for using Kik's Web browser to browse Reddit, or should users play games or invite other users to a beta test version of said game.

Sounds great, though right now just what Kik Points can be spent on is a little on the soft side. Right now, the only thing that can be purchased with Kik Points are stamps in the “Hipster Animals” line. Kik, meanwhile, is keeping comparatively mum about just what plans it has in mind for Kik Points, but some ideas are emerging that might spell a plan in mind. For instance, some have noted that the Hipster Animals stamps are similar to the branded stickers found in Line, suggesting that some points could be made down that road and giving Kik a new potential revenue stream. Other possibilities include plans to sell positions in the browser menu bar for those out to target particular user demographics, but these are said to be far-reaching plans, and Kik Points is the current target.

Beyond that, of course, deals could be struck on several different fronts, as Kik can offer up a potential audience ready to get engaged in exchange for goodies of all sorts. Not only does this offer potential for stickers, but also potential with a variety of other content points. Consider discounts on apps, giveaways for videos, music or e-books. Maybe 2,000 Kik Points get a free download on iTunes or Spotify or anywhere else for that matter. The key takeaway here is that there's a lot of room for brands to step in and take advantage of the Kik Points infrastructure to get users interested in various products. Companies might well even establish a loss-leader of sorts, an app or a book or a song designed to be given away via Kik Points just to draw in more users to make some payments for the rest of the catalog. This would almost allow Kik Points to achieve the status that Bitcoin has, redeemable for goods and services throughout the Web.

This is the kind of thing that's extremely flexible, and though right now the applications for such a service are comparatively few in number, there's not much holding back the floodgates of possibility. It could be that many things could be paid for in Kik Points, not too far down the line, and seeing just which things fall under the banner of “available with Kik Points” should be quite a sight indeed.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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