WhatsApp vs Kik Messenger? A Parent Guide

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September 19, 2014

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!


Sharon M.

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.


Director of College Advising

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.


Irene C.

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Table of Contents

WhatsApp vs Kik Messenger: A Parent Guide by Josh Ochs SmartSocial.com

In the fall of 2019, there was a lot of speculation about the future of Kik Messenger and whether or not it was going to shut down. However, in October of 2019 they announced that the app is here to stay. This anonymous messaging app is one of the most dangerous apps we have ever encountered and has a major child predator problem — in 2018 the BBC reported that the Kik Messenger app was featured in 1,100 child sex abuse cases in the UK alone. Thanks to our friends at PocketNow, who created a great video to show the difference between WhatsApp vs Kik Messenger, two extremely popular apps kids were using before Kik Messenger was shut down.

How are students using WhatsApp and Kik Messenger?

WhatsApp is a mobile messenger that is similar to short message services (SMS). Much like your texting plan, you can communicate with people already in the contact list within your device. However, unlike SMS, WhatsApp is entirely free. It does this by using your internal data services to send and receive messages. In addition to sending text, users can create groups, deliver and receive unlimited images as well as video and audio files.

Kik also offers standard messaging options such as sending text, pictures and video and allows for group chats. It also has the first built-in browser on any smartphone messenger application, this gives you the opportunity to browse and share website content with your friends, without ever leaving the chat window. Chatting is not limited to your phone contacts and applicants must create usernames.

What is the main difference between WhatsApp and Kik Messenger?

WhatsApp: WhatsApp requires you to use a valid phone number as your username. Once you use your friend's phone number you can use it to chat the same way you would with the SMS application on any phone but without the per-use charge often associated with many data plans. They key here is that you need to know the person's phone number beforehand.

Kik Messenger: Users can connect with anyone on the network and aren't simply limited to their phone's contact list. On Kik, usernames are how members identify themselves. The app doesn't share users' phone numbers. Kik is not based in the United States of America, therefore if cyber bullying takes place local, police departments have no jurisdiction over the Canadian-based company. In addition, anything that takes place on this app is under the jurisdiction of another company.

What do parents need to know about these apps?

WhatsApp and Kik Messenger help students bypass text messaging and communicate with their friends using the app.


  • WhatsApp's license agreement requires users to be 16+ year old
  • There are no passwords or user names for this application, instead you verify by using your phone number
  • Users can share location and share contacts with other users
  • The WhatsApp FAQ includes how to recover deleted messages
  • Facebook recently bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in February 2014

From Chicago Now

Kik Messenger

  • Kik is rated for kids 17+ years old
  • Teens should keep their username private
  • Kids should use different usernames for their Kik, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr accounts
  • Kik allows users to ignore new contacts
  • Kik allows users to block unwanted contacts
  • When your kid deletes messages on their phone, they are still on the recipient's phone

What personal information do users need to share?


The app searches for users by their phone numbers. To be able to begin chatting with someone you need to have that person's phone number in your contact list on your mobile device.

Kik Messenger

Registration requires you to create a unique username, which will become your identity on the app. To find your friends on Kik you can search them by username. Also you can turn on the Address Book Matching feature to search for users that are in your phone's contact list. In this case you'll see friends who are on Kik and also have Address Book Matching turned on.

WhatsApp and Kik Messneger marketing


Simple. Personal. Real Time Messaging. - WhatsApp

Kik Messenger

Kik is the first smartphone messenger with a built-in browser. You can talk, browse and share with your friends.- Kik

What are the number of users on WhatsApp vs Kik Messenger? (As of September 2014)

WhatsApp: 600 million active users (only active, total number is unknown) - CEO & Co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum.

Kik Messenger: Over 150 million users (in total, incl. active) - About on Kik website.

What questions or ideas do you have? Comment below to tell us what you think of WhatsApp vs Kik Messenger.

WhatsApp vs Kik Messenger – A Parent Guide (Video) 1 WhatsApp is a free mobile messenger app 2. Kik messenger offers options such as sending text, photos, videos and group chats. 3. Both apps help teens hide their messaging activity from their parents

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