What should parents know about Kik?

Kids and teens love using the chatting app Kik Messenger because it's free, it's popular with their friends, and they can quickly and efficiently add cool Web content -- memes, viral videos, images, and more -- to their texts without any message or character limits. The ability to easily interact with and share popular, trending items is a huge draw for kids (whose lives pretty much revolve around the Internet). The other thing kids like about Kik is that you can sign up with only a username; you don't have to tie your account to your phone number, as you would with traditional SMS messaging. That lets you chat with a much wider range of potential chat buddies -- whom you may or may not know. It's been connected to the alleged murder of a 13-year-old Virginia girl by a college student.

Parents also should be aware that inside the Kik app is a huge range of other apps, some of which cost money and not all of which are age-appropriate. The additional content defies categorization: There's Nearby, a Tinder-like dating game that matches you to other users in your area; the New York Times, which offers access to top stories as well as more in-depth articles for a fee; Funny Pics, a gallery of photos from the website Reddit; and Jam, where you can read about musical artists, see photos, watch videos, buy merchandise, and, of course, chat with other fans. There also are lots and lots of games. Learn more about the pros and cons of Kik and how to help your kid use it responsibly. 

Ask Our Experts
Was this answer helpful?
Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts

Comments

Teen, 13 years old written by Dancer_girl.

I am 13 years old and I have kik nothing has ever happened to me and I've had it for about a year I only use it to kik about two of my fitness who don't have phones you can accept or decline people and block them it's safe and like if somebody is trying to harass you or whatever tell them your gonna tell your parents even tho you won't and most of the time they will back off if they don't leave it's all about trusting your kid and it's up to them to accept or decline somebody
Teen, 13 years old written by Natalie_Grace_1112

Haha these comments are funny. Well probably only to me since I texted ppl on Kik since 3rd grade. You will only see porno pics if u ask for them. Kik is also a social media with privacy settings. Keep it on private and only allow people you know to text you then you will b fine. You have to trust your kid. Kik is like every other social media. If you ask someone for pics they may or may not send them to you. Its the same with all sites. You cannot keep your kid away from this. Its impossible. And if you did your kid will end up being so left out maybe start getting bullied and where will all that hate go to? You. The parent. The one that tried so hard to shield the bad from their kid now its like they don't have one because they are locked in their room. Wow that just got deep. XD. TRUST. Do you trust your kid? will they keep their account private and only text their friends? also they can get porn from regular websites not just this app. Kik is not tinder. HAHA i cant stop laughing at the comment below mine. Lolz. get your kids away from this app ASAP. im sorry it is completely up to the parent.
Educator and Parent written by larahharrison

I work at an inner city elementary school. Our elementary school age students are using Kik to look at pornographic pictures. Those students who do not have Kik accounts are looking on with other students' phones to see what's on Kik. Kids are lying about their age to sign up for an account just for this purpose. If you are a parent I would recommend you get your kids away from this app ASAP.
Teen, 14 years old written by Morgan_Horse

DO NOT, I repeat, do not use Kik, there are no privacy features and anyone can message you.. I deleted the app completely when someone sent a message that had the intent to sell me inappropriate pictures.. They did not directly ask that question because they asked age first, but that was the intent of their account. I was not exposed to anything inappropriate but I could have been.. Just don't use the app. -a fellow teen
Teen, 13 years old written by Natalie_Grace_1112

I have Kik and mine asks if I want to text this person and if i know them. It wont show the message they sent just their name and picture and if i know them i can accept and see the message and if i dont i can decline. You just have to trust your kid to either click accept or decline. Also KIK is a lot different now then it used to be. The new update allows that accept and decline feature. so its all about trust.
Kid, 12 years old

Mehh. Not really. A lot of us use it to talk to people we know and join groups to meet new people. I've met a lot of great people through kik who have helped me through tough times.
Parent of a 17 and 17 year old written by NC Momma

The review is nice but it fails to mention that the app seems to have a "hooking up" focus which I discovered when I saw a string of messages pop in on my daughters' phone. We had a discussion about it and she deleted it from her phone. This scared the heck out of me. I know there are many ways, and too many apps, that trouble can come to our teens, but this seemingly friendly app is a wolf in sheep's clothing.