Kik

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Kik App Poster Image
Social networker connects with strangers, bots, websites.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 51 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 86 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kik Messenger wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

App is simple enough, but can only be used among Kik users.

Violence

User-generated content is unmonitored and can contain references to and images of violence.

Sex

User-generated content is unmonitored and can contain sexual references and imagery.

Language

User-generated content is unmonitored and can contain bad language.

Consumerism

App adoption (purchases) pushed through web/app search function. Kik Codes used to connect users to brands. No in-app purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

User-generated content is unmonitored and can contain content related to drugs, alcohol, and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kik is an app-based alternative to standard texting as well as a social networking app for smartphones. With features like video, sketch, bot search, and friend or group code scanning, the app can be used by kids as young as 13 but should really only be used by older teens and adults since it's so easy to connect with strangers. There are no in-app ads or purchases, but the Kik Code function encourages users to use the app to connect themselves to commercial brands. A built-in web search also points users to third-party sites. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information gathered and shared. 

User Reviews

Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byvigilant_dad March 24, 2013

Dangerous app

Don't be fooled by the innocent sounding name -- this app is a prime vehicle for sexual predators to locate targets. Within hours of installing this app o... Continue reading
Adult Written byTuxedo2 December 30, 2012

Don't Kik

Kik and instagram seem to go hand and hand with tweens. On a high percentage of instagram posts you see phrases such as, "Kik me at..." Therefore, if... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 16, 2013

Kik Messenger

Kik Messenger is an interactive messenger that is unlimited and free. It is not at all similar to Facebook or Twitter, it is not an online social network and yo... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 28, 2013

Useful app, Lots of bullying!

I got this app because my friends told me to, and i just set up a account. Now we can chat more easily! It's really good, and also pretty cool if you don... Continue reading

What's it about?

Registering for KIK requires using your first and last name and choosing a profile photo or creating a "bitmoji." You're prompted to search your phone contacts for other Kik users (you can decline, but then you'll have no one to message with; the app only works with other Kik users). A group search helps you find people with similar interests, and then you can join those groups or start your own. Once in a group, you can chat with members and send them photos, GIFs, videos, etc. A feature called "Kik Code" allows you to quickly friend people by scanning their codes with your phone's camera. The app provides a web search function that points users toward websites outside the app, and a Discover Bot feature lets them "socialize" and play games with online chat bots.

Is it any good?

In the plus column, there are no message limits, character limits, or fees, and you can send other users lots of content, but it's too easy for teens to connect with strangers. The search function helps you find like-minded Kik users and join their special interest (art, music, cosplay, etc.) groups. You can also start your own. However, Kik has no age verification and no teen safeguards, and it's too easy for kids to talk to strangers of all ages in public groups. The "Kik Code" feature makes for instant profile swap with other users and is used to connect you with commercial products. A "discover more web pages" function sends users outside the app toward (presumably) partner sites, and a "discover bots" function sets you socializing with branded AI bots. All told, despite its fun features, it's a risky choice for teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about QR codes and how companies like Kik use them to gather information about you. What information do you share in your profile? Is it safe to share that information?

  • Discuss the potential risks associated with using an approved app to download other third-party apps. What are the apps for? What kind of information do they collect?

  • Think about how bots function within social media. Are the bots for social interaction or advertising? Both?

App details

For kids who love socializing and making friends

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate