Kik Adds Built-In Browser Functionality to its Popular App

The advent of smartphones and mobile apps has seen instant messaging clients overtake the place of text messaging. There are a number of leading apps which have been successful in exploiting this trend, and currently enjoy a huge user base courtesy the features and functionality they bring to the table. These apps usually sport a range of added features including those of changing the look and feel of the messaging environment, the ability to share different kinds of content among users, and the ability to use third-party services like games and online activities from within the app.

Kik is one of the most popular instant messaging solutions for smartphones, available for all leading smartphone platforms like Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS and Windows Mobile. Sporting over 100 million users, Kik is a small and lightweight app, devoid of bloated in-built features. Instead, it has been implementing a system of HTML “Cards” for accessing third-party services, which is one of the reasons behind its immense popularity. Now, with their latest update, Kik has implemented an integrated browser to the app, which is sure to be a welcome move with both users and developers.

The New Integrated Browser with Kik

According to reports, the new update for Kik contains a major change that might prove to be vehicle for additional use and popularity for Kik over the years. An in-built browser has been added to the app, the rest of which remain more or less the same. The slide-in menu in Kik is now set to contain an area where search keywords and URLs can be entered, thereby engaging the browser. This can be used to navigate the internet, locate content and perform actions based on the returned results.

For users, this means the ability to easily access, consume and share data and media from the internet without having to leave the app environment. It also becomes possible for users to take a look at data shared by other users, again without having to exit the app and opening another browser. This makes for easier and more intuitive use of the app in terms of social interactions.

For developers, this update opens up greater possibilities of adding value to users. This is a sign that Kik is closing in on becoming a platform for web app development. The new browser is meant to be a replacement for the HTML “Cards” system that Kik had implemented, and Kik is also releasing a set of APIs which would enable developers to very easily create new applications and port existing ones to Kik, in a manner which lets users use these applications from within the app.

Websites and developers can easily port their existing web content and apps to Kik, thereby giving users a native app-like experience for third party services. Kik plans to work closely with different brands and developers to bring a lot more content into the realm of Kik, and to significantly add to the user experience. The APIs are set to be available for free, and will be a lucrative prospect for websites and developers, due to the huge user base and popularity which Kik already has.

Originally published at: Mobdevapp

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