Messaging service Kik, well-known for its popular ad-free messaging, unveiled its own cryptocurrency last year. And now, several companies are testing the Kin tokens and associated applications for their own use.
Kik had a highly successful $100 million ICO last year, and launched its cryptocurrency partially as a way to give Kik a differentiating factor and competitive advantage.
The Kin token is designed to encourage users to watch interactive videos and take surveys and quizzes. Kik has partnered with Blackhawk Network to allow users to trade in their rewards for gift cards from Dominos, Sephora, Nike, and other vendors.
Recently, Red Bull and Swarovski have begun experimenting with Kin to give their customers tokens as reward for answering surveys.
Now, even more companies have begun showing an interest in Kin. Kin’s exclusive Android app, Kinit, was launched in July. The app lets people earn Kin by taking surveys and quizzes to keep them engaged with different brands. Users can spend tokens from a built-in wallet.
Kik’s cryptocurrency is not the only digital currency created by messaging apps; however, to promote use, Kin was moved from Ehtereum to the Stellar network in March to enable faster transactions.
Since relationship-building is vital for a company’s long-term success, companies are eager to encourage more interaction with their customers. They turned to Kinit as a way to reward people for engaging with their brands. For example:
- Swelly, from Australia, uses Kinit to carry out surveys and polls (its CEO, Peter Buchroithner, said that using cryptocurrency through Kin was another means of rewarding customers who answer survey questions.
- TrueX, the ad-tech division of 21st Century Fox, uses Kinit to reward people for watching 30-second advertisements.
Rod McLeod, Kik’s vice president of communications, said that the purpose behind Kinit is to help make “Crypto truly consumer-friendly through fun and engaging experiences.”
What does this mean for Kik?
Although the Kik team forecasts a bright future for Kin and the Kinit app, there appear to be some questions about its viability in the future.
For one, current reward structures may not feel lucrative enough to encourage engagement with Kinit and Kik to earn Kin tokens – and it’s a valid concern. Partner brands may be unwilling to reward users generously enough, which would hinder users in ultimately receiving the rewards they want (much like a credit card whose reward system requires too many purchases to get a low-value reward, and keeps dangling the carrot of big rewards that somehow never materialize).
Others, however, see Kinit as a viable way to get users and brands to interact in a way that increases engagement while reducing the amounts of personal data shared. This could encourage use by those concerned about their digital privacy.