Kik is one of the messaging apps battling for a space on teenagers’ smartphone homescreens, and yesterday it published some stats. They included the milestone of 200 million registered users, although unlike rivals like WeChat and WhatsApp, Kik isn’t saying how many of them are monthly active users (MAUs).
“Other companies make a big deal about MAU, but we think they might as well be called ‘minimally active users’. It’s a metric so easy to game that it becomes almost meaningless,” wrote CEO Ted Livingston. “For example, push notifications are so powerful for mobile that you can drastically increase MAUs just by blasting out a ‘Happy holidays!’ and counting everyone who opened the app in response as ‘active’. That’s not for us.” Kik is pushing different metrics instead: a self-commissioned study showing its users spend 35 minutes per session in Kik’s app, compared to 37 minutes for Facebook, 27 for Instagram and 21 for Snapchat. “Two hundred million is a great number, but 35 minutes is where the real action is. The next task is to get that up to 38…”