Following the launch of ‘Promoted Chats’, which lets users chat with their favourite brands, Kik launched a new feature called ‘Keywords’, which lets brands reply to users’ questions by picking up on keywords and sending them pre-set responses.
Kik’s messaging app, which hit 100 million users this year, has partnered with over 25 brands in sectors like fashion and music, and lets them share photos, videos, games and special offers with users. The new ‘Keywords’ feature aims to make this more personalised.
Explaining Keywords, Kik said: “Some of our top brands using Promoted Chats have hundreds of thousands of people chatting with them, and manually replying to each message would be impossible. Our Keywords feature lets brands create responses even before a question is asked.”
For example, if a band wants to promote a concert, Kik users can ask them questions like the cost of tickets or how to get to the venue on public transit. The band will have answers ready and connect each response with a keyword, such as ‘tickets’, ‘cost’ or ‘public transit’, in an easy-to-use dashboard, allowing users to get an immediate response.
451 Research senior analyst Raul Castanon is hopeful of this model, saying that “Kik’s monetisation formula leverages its two key assets: a sizeable user base and real-time user data”.
“This is a variation of the only strategy that is actually working in mobile advertising, and brings it to a new level by providing brands with the elements they need to engage with their customers. We have yet to see how successful Kik will be, but there is no question this formula has all the right elements,” the analyst added.
In June, Kik said it intends to remain an independent entity despite megadeals involving rivals WhatsApp and Viber in 2014.
Earlier this year, Kik also added browser functionality to its service, to enable users to surf the web without having to leave the app, in the hope of increasing usage time and engagement.