Messenger app Kik is hedging its future on the cryptocurrency token it built, Kin.
The Canada-based company is trying to become a way for brands to connect with its young users by offering them cryptocurrencies as incentives. (Over half its user base is reportedly aged 13 to 24.) As media companies struggle to monetize based on ad revenue alone, Kik is betting that crypto can fill the gap.
“We tried to monetize through interactive ads, but there’s a [Facebook-Google] duopoly of two companies generating the most revenue from ads. It’s very hard to compete,” said Kin’s vp of product Alex Frenkel. “Kik now doesn’t have to compete with those duopolies anymore, and we can monetize on creating value for users.”
For Kik, the path to monetization includes making money from brands that promote surveys, incentives for content sharing or other activities on the platform, and from the undisclosed amount of Kin that Kik currently holds.