Embattled Kik’s new owner announced

It was almost lights out for social messaging platform Kik after it decided to launch a cryptocurrency. The planned introduction of the Kin cryptocurrency caused the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to drop its hammer on the company, and the result was the company deciding to put all its resources into fighting the lawsuit. That meant giving up its core business, according to a previous announcement by Kik, but it was able to find a way out of the dilemma. After announcing a week ago that Kik would be teaming up with an unidentified company to stay alive, that company has now been announced.

In a blog post on its website from last Friday, Kik announced that MediaLab is now the new owner of the messaging platform. It described the entity as a holding company that “owns great internet brands like Whisper, Datpiff and others” and that it includes a “team of technologists, product managers, designers, and community builders who geek out over building cool stuff for large scale audiences.”

Going forward, MediaLab plans on making some needed updates to the platform while keeping things simple. It will be working on making the Kik app faster and more reliable, while also making it more user-friendly and a place where people with similar interests can communicate, either one-on-one or in groups. It also plans on developing a solution to spam bots found in the app.

The changes are going to come at the expense of users, in a way. According to the blog post, which was written by MediaLab, “We believe that Kik’s best days remain ahead of it. As part of that long term [sic] commitment, we need to ensure that we’re able to cover our expenses. So over the coming weeks we’ll be introducing ads to the service. While we know that some of you may not love that idea we plan to do it in a way that it is non-intrusive, and in no way takes away from what makes Kik great (no annoying full screen video takeovers or things like that).”

No mention was made regarding the role, if any, Kin would have in the rebooted Kik platform. However, Kik’s CEO, CEO Ted Livingston, has already stated, before announcing the name of the new Kik owner, that the cryptocurrency would be an integral part of its future.

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