Kik, the cross-platform messaging app that works on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone, is today publicly launching on Symbian after a month of private beta testing. The new Kik Messenger for Symbian brings improved group texting, sent, delivered, and received receipts, notifications to indicate when someone is typing, support for photo sharing, and the ability to locate your contacts who already using Kik.
But I know what you’re thinking: why Symbian?
According to Kik CEO Ted Livingston, Symbian was “a logical next step” given the app’s recent return to BlackBerry devices. The company feels that to be truly a cross-platform application, you can’t just focus on the leaders, iPhone and Android, you have to address the needs of the complete smartphone market.
Says Livington, “frankly, I think writing Symbian off is a very North American centric perspective and is quite premature. There are hundreds of millions of Symbian users globally, with millions more expected to be added to the platform with the last generations of Symbian devices.”
“That’s a huge, diverse, global group of users who are hungry to use their smartphones in new ways,” he says. “If you want to truly change the way the world communicates, you can’t ignore Symbian users.”
So there. That’s why.
It’s also not a bad strategy for user adoption, either. The problem with many of today’s messaging apps (or voice apps, video chat apps, “social” apps, etc.) is that you’re expected to use them with others, but the app doesn’t run on but one or two platforms. As an iPhone/Android household ourselves, there’s an endless frustration with today’s iOS-centric marketing focus alone. Android users are people too!, I want to scream. I can’t imagine how the poor, slighted Symbian folks must feel then. (But seriously, maybe you should upgrade.)
If you’re still a Symbian user, though, at least you now have a great new app to try. You can grab Kik from the Ovi Store here. Everyone else can get their version from the mobile Kik homepage: just click here from your phone’s browser.
Kik was founded in 2009, when a small but incredibly passionate group of University of Waterloo students decided to build a company that would shift the center of computing from the PC to the phone. Based in Waterloo, Ontario the company now has about 30 employees working on Kik Messenger, the simplest, fastest, most life-like chat experience on a smartphone. In November 2012 the company introduced Kik Cards, mini-apps built in HTML5 that let users search for and...