How to Make the WeChat of the West. Directions from the Kik’s Founder


The founder of Kik has written a long post entitled: The Race to Become the WeChat of the West.

Here we offer you the major points:

  • Back in 2009 investors believed that users need nothing but Facebook.

  • Investors were irritating: Why do you need chat that’s just on your phone? Why just texting is not enough? Why wouldn’t you just use Facebook Messenger? Only WeChat was moving in the right direction.

  • Switch from English into Chinese in WeChat and you will see a whole different app. You will have games, taxi service, food delivery and even mortgage. It will literary be five times bigger.

  • Forget about constantly clicking on links and hundreds of open apps. We have come up with Kik Cards (mobile web apps adapted for Kik, where you follow web-links within the app, similar to web browsing).

  • Do you reckon we are copying WeChat? I’ve never denied it. We dream of becoming WeChat of the West.

  • We do not want those who have already chosen Amazon, who buys a Chase on credit and purchases games in Steam.

Our target user is a kid that does not take loans or use Amazon but who loves chatting.

  • Why are we gonna succeed? WhatsApp could have added a chat-first platform but didn’t. BlackBerry could have started using Android but they didn’t (they did in the end, though, but have already lost their positions). Google could have bought/built better social networking but it didn’t want to. They all could have – but didn’t, it just wasn’t part of their initial strategy.

The WeChat of the West will definitely appear from somewhere other than 1 Hacker Way, it will come from out of Silicon Valley.

Ted Livingston has got a picky audience to work with, with a low purchasing power. However, the Kik strategy is to bind the audience to its messenger and then wait for them to get older. The latter, as we all know, is inevitable.

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