RIM Pulls Kik Messenger’s Access to SDK, Push Services

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.

If you’re using an Android device or iPhone, hit up the Market or iTunes if you want to give the app a shot.


  • opiapr

    so you are effectively siding with RIM. Taking their word for fact without actually knowing all the facts. It could just be that RIM felt that KIK was superior to BBM.

    • I think it’s more likely that a young, hungry start-up cut some corners that they shouldn’t have in order to get their big break than it is that a huge multinational corporation is worried that their half-dozen polished, more feature-rich instant messaging clients may have yet another competitor.

  • Anon

    Kik was going through a users’ contact list and adding people who had Kik to the contact list. All without permission from the person who downloaded the program. There were also reports that Kik was spamming people on contact lists if they didn’t have Kik but they denied that.

    Taking these actions without permission was brought up on Kik’s own forums three weeks ago with people complaining of the breech of privacy. Kik thought it was a “helpful” service but not asking permission is a violation of the Terms of Service of not only RIM but Apple as well. RIM is protecting not only their users but themselves from facing a class-action lawsuit like Google had with their Google Buzz fiasco.

    It’s funny how selective people are when it comes to privacy violations. If Google and Facebook do it, they’re out-of-control corporations that need to be stopped. When RIM steps in to stop the privacy violation they are a dying company looking to stop competition.

  • Anon


    There’s the link to the Kik forums concerning the privacy issues. Kik knew why they got yanked off App World but are still playing dumb by spinning it back to RIM.

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