Kim is one of the rival messaging apps to WhatsApp, although it generally quotes registered rather than active users – 150m of the former – so it’s hard to tell how popular it really is. Even so, it’s one of the apps being monitored by savvy digital marketers, so news of its new ‘Promoted Chats’ feature should spark interest. The idea: brands – presumably music artists could also take part – set up their own Kik accounts, and then monitor “trigger” words in chats between users, so they can pop up with messages. Which, yes, sounds quite intrusive, but according to TechCrunch, Kik users will opt in to individual brands to have the feature work. Promoted Chats follows Kik’s existing HTML5 cards feature, which has been used for artists including One Direction. In a trial, 6.5m users “chatted” with branded accounts, with the company claiming “it’s a useful experience for users”. At least, until a brand uses it badly…

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