RIM: Do Not Pull Kik From BlackBerry – An Open Letter to Kik Users | Kik Interactive

Posted: November 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Early Friday morning, I awoke to a deeply dismaying and wholly unexpected message from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM). It boils down to this: RIM is kicking BlackBerry users off Kik.

Kik had already been excluded from BlackBerry App World, so no new Kik downloads have been possible for BlackBerry users. But now RIM has shut down “push” access; as a result, messages to BlackBerry users will be delayed by up to an hour. RIM has also now removed access to the BlackBerry Software Development Kit and Signing Keys, so any future development is frozen.

On behalf of our nearly one million Kik users on Blackberry devices, we truly hope RIM reverses these steps.

If you’re an iPhone or Android user, you are not affected (except for Kik message delays to and from friends using BlackBerrys). If you’re not yet on Kik, you can continue to download Kik on Apple’s App Store and the Android Market.

As you likely know, Kik went massively viral after our Oct. 19 re-launch – on all three smartphone platforms. Two weeks in, we had 1 million users. Now we have 2.5 million users, and we’re still growing (even without new BlackBerry downloads).

However, for BlackBerry users and our little company, RIM’s actions are a huge blow.

We have worked day and night to build a super-fast, reliable and free cross-platform instant messaging app. This includes more than a year of development for BlackBerry smartphones. We have worked cooperatively with RIM at every step. We think it’s fair to say that, until very recently, our relationship has been nothing less than friendly.

RIM placed Kik on BlackBerry App World without issue. Kik’s upcoming mobile music service received a special award at BlackBerry DevCon about a year ago, and was named by RIM just six weeks ago as one of the first five featured apps to be included in its upcoming BBM platform.

We are very grateful for RIM’s past assistance and support. We’re honoured that they welcomed us with open arms. And we have responded fully to any concerns they have raised. We know battery life and privacy could not be concerns, because we have completed an update that sips battery power and provides additional privacy controls, and have offered it to RIM.

Knowing this, we are confident there is no reason service should be denied to Kik users.

On behalf of our 2.5 million users, we implore RIM to maintain and fully restore Kik service on BlackBerry.

Kik is a small start-up with a big idea – just as RIM once was. We are thrilled by the popularity of our instant messaging app.

Some people have suggested that we’re “too similar” to RIM’s instant messaging product, and that somehow this is behind their decision. We would be surprised and disappointed if there is any truth to this, as RIM has always championed the BlackBerry ecosystem as an open platform. However, if true, the implications would go well beyond Kik to the entire mobile community, users and developers alike.

We urge RIM to embrace the spirit of a fair and open mobile platform that will enrich their users with more great new apps. Everyone – BlackBerry users, Kik users, our businesses and the wider smartphone community – will win.

Surely the one thing we can agree on is that the user should come first. On behalf of almost 1 million BlackBerry users who have already downloaded and use Kik, let’s work together and put this behind us.

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