After being yoinked from the BlackBerry App World, Kik Messenger now has their development effectively frozen, as Research In Motion has revoked their access to the software development kit, and stopped push services for the app, effectively killing its usefulness for existing users. The developer doesn’t mention any reasons, and RIM’s statement on the issue is unhelpfully vague:
“RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM’s support for Kik’s service.”
If you didn’t have a chance to check it out when it was still available in App World, it was a cross-platform instant messenger for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android. Marketed as something of a BBM for all phones, I still didn’t see how it was any better than Google Talk or something similar – read/unread confirmations were never that big of a deal for me. Still, there is the threat that Kik could eventually become an alternative BBM client using the Social developer tools.
I have no doubt that Research In Motion has some very good reasons for going to these extremes, especially against such a growingly-popular app. As much as people are loving the app, and the developers are playing innocent, I really doubt that they truly have no idea why they’re in this position now, especially since RIM says they’ve talked to them about it. Is it possible that they’re doing so much traffic through push that Research In Motion can’t support the volume? Kik’s first product, a music store, failed to launch presumably because they couldn’t get the licensing together, and I can only imagine that they would push hard not to be stopped by similar bureaucracy again.