Kik, and should you allow your child to use it?
Read our parent’s guide to Kik
Kik is simple – it’s for chats. Group chats or just direct messages between users. It’s also one of those apps parents should be aware of.
Other features, like the bots that might represent brands or content creators, are also there, but this is all secondary to the chatting.
The app boasts chatrooms on a variety of subjects, called “public groups”. These groups are created by the app’s users, and make it very easy to anonymously connect with strangers, which is why many people use the app to begin with.
Public chat groups, on a variety of topics
Kik users can search for, and Join, groups on topics that interest them. The chat rooms topics range from TV shows or games, to dating, and to more mature content. Members of groups can also message each other privately. These are Kik’s suggestions for popular public group searches (these suggestions might change a bit every few days):
It is very easy to find and join groups focused around adult content, and it’s not rare for members of said groups to contact other members privately. In Kik, it’s easy to just stumble into content that is highly inappropriate for young children and teens.
Finding a stranger to chat within one click
Kik also offers users the ‘Meet new people’ feature. By clicking one button, a user can be taken into a private chat with an anonymous stranger, anywhere in the world. These chat often take on adult tones and themes, and it is not rare to encounter a user asking for photos within the first sentence of a conversation. Kik is not an adult dating app, but some of its users might treat it as such.
Final verdict? Not for kids
According to the Kik website, the only way to control or limit access to adult content is through parental control apps or other 3rd party apps. Parents should definitely consider that before allowing children access to Kik.
The Kik website also states the app is for ages 13 and up. At Jiminy, we think 13 is too young, and that this app, at its current state, should be reserved for more responsible and mature teens, or for adults.
You can check it out for yourself, through this link: https://www.kik.com
And for some extra reading on the right way find out more about dangerous apps for teens and kids:
4 Ways to Recognize Dangerous Apps for Kids