Of 240 million registered users of Kik, approximately 40 per cent are teenagers. Founded in 2009, Kik is the ‘first smart-phone messenger with built in browser’. Unlike other messaging services, in Kik, providing mobile number is optional. Kik users can communicate through messages, photos, videos, sketches and mobile web pages. But, Kik does not provide privacy. It collects information such as name, user name, email address, phone number, address, birth date, contact preferences, photo and gender. Other than the basic information, Kik also collects log information, friends list, bot chats, location and local storage information. Kik shares this information with its related companies, affiliates, subsidiaries or joint ventures. It is popular, as well as controversial for the anonymity of its users. The app is termed unsafe for minors because of its weak parental control mechanisms. The app can operated on iOS 6.0 or later, Android and Windows.
Founded in 2011, Line messenger is available for a variety of devices running iOS, Android and Windows and BlackBerry devices. Its services include free messaging, photo sharing, free voice and video call (depending on the device). Line users can also follow the official accounts of famous artists, celebrities, brands and TV shows. With its 600-million user base, Line messenger is now a main competitor of WhatsApp.
Viber helps the users send good vibes every day to people who matter to them most, making great things happen—like it claims in its promotions. It has a 750-million user base and one can exchange images, video and audio messages. Viber can be used on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Windows phones, Windows, Mac and Linux. By using ViberOut, the users can make calls at low rates from smartphones to landlines or mobile numbers, even if they are not Viber numbers. Viber also collects basic information about the user and shares these details under its terms and conditions.
Considered one of the first instant messaging apps, BlackBerry Messenger was a market leader and widely reputed for its security and reliability. The application was initially included only on BlackBerry devices. Then came WhatsApp, and it redesigned the world of digital communication. BBM, realising it's better to be late than never, released on other platforms on 2013. Now it can be downloaded for free on iOS, Android and Windows phones. Instead of mobile numbers, BBM has alpha-numeric pins called BBM pins to identify users. Like the other messaging apps, BBM has features like sharing multimedia, messaging and voice calls. BBM gives more control, with two features that are now free and unlimited to use. First, by setting a timer, users can choose how long their contacts can view messages and pictures they share. Second, the user can now retract sent messages. It offers multi-person chats, and up to 250 people can be in the same chat. Another feature is the BBM channels, where a user can create new channels to share thoughts, ideas and passions or subscribe to an existing BBM channel to join chats with others who share his interests.