Teen Messaging App Kik Launches New Video Chat Feature

December 19, 2016, 4:12 PM UTC
Teenagers addiction to smart phones and social media
Leonardo Patrizi — Getty Images

In an update of the chat app Kik, starting today users can now make video calls with up to six people.

“Video chat was the number-one feature you requested, and today, we’re really excited to launch it on Kik,” the company said in a blog post.

Kik has about 300 million registered users and claims that 40 percent of U.S. teenagers use the app.

As seen in the GIF below, calls can be made so the video is no larger than a profile icon. GIFs, stickers, photos, and text messages can be sent during the video calls.

Above: Video chat on Kik

Above: Video chat on Kik

“The new feature is meant to fully mimic the way teenagers hang out IRL nowadays and build on texting and group chat functions currently popular on the platform,” a Kik spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Given Kik’s focus on teenagers, it’s sort of surprising that it took this long to get the ability to make video calls, but many chat apps with more than 100 million users have rolled out a video chat or group video chat option over the course of the last year.

The largest of the bunch, WhatsApp, brought video calls to its 1.2 billion users last month.

Facebook Messenger brought video calls to its customers this spring, and in September the company said 300 million monthly active users now make voice and video calls with Messenger.

With the use of an iMessage app extension, Fam brought group video chat to iPhones earlier this month.

Last week, Slack (not in the 100 million user club, but noteworthy) launched one-to-one video call feature for its paying customers. Also last week, way ahead of its competitors, Japan-based Line announced that it can now handle video calls with up to 200 people.

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat. All rights reserved.

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