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北美通讯软件公司Kik造币并非创举,而是效仿微信模式

上周,颇受青少年欢迎的通讯软件Kik宣布将发行自建加密货币Kin,入局数字货币领域。你可能会问,为什么一个通讯软件需要搭载比特币式的功能?其实,Kik是在试图效仿一款在中国极受欢迎的软件(即微信),该软件就内置了支付服务。未来,预计会有更多西方通讯软件追随Kik的脚步。

Kik这家公司从不固步自封。过去几年,其先后试验了视频通话、群聊以及聊天机器人。虚拟货币Kin是Kik发展演进中又一阶段,是Kik分析了他国市场通讯软件成长壮大途径后作出的战略部署。

利用与主要投资方之一腾讯的关系,Kik有机会学习WeChat等通讯软件在东方市场是如何发展的。Kik可将所得经验应用于自身在西方市场的发展。所获经验中关键的一条是,中国最为成功的通讯软件远不只提供通讯服务,已慢慢转变成为全平台。

我们度过了手机应用轰炸期,现在正在见证该行业的整合。操作一款应用就能使用更多功能服务,普通用户手机应用安装均数越来越少。发生这些转变不仅因为手机内存有限,且这样更为便捷,还因为最精明的企业们用心留意(用户需求与市场趋势)。

在中国,用户已习惯使用一个手机应用完成所有事情,如叫车、点外卖。随着Kik的助推,这一趋势也将席卷北美。虽然大多数亚洲通讯软件都支持便捷的软件内支付功能(这类应用的名字通常都叫“XX付”),但这些服务商并没有发行自有加密货币。Kik发行自建Kin币,向顾客支付Kin币奖励其忠诚度,为创建在无需借助其他应用外技术,在Kik应用内就可完成的成熟数字经济体系奠定了基础,甚至还又可能发行信用卡,该应用所作的是在确保用户对此软件的粘性。

在变革整个移动行业中,通讯软件地位独特。目前,80%的手机用户安装了Messenger、WhatsApp、Kik等通讯软件。通讯软件使用频率高,用户每天会使用其数次。通讯软件提供商在其软件内搭在其他功能,可为用户提供更为便捷的体验,促使用户在该应用上多花时间。Kik使用户无需退出,在软件内就可购物,这意味着用户花费在该平台的时间将更长,被其他软件分流的情况也较少。

此战略并不止步于发行数字货币。通讯软件内加载的功能会越来越多,将推演至在通讯软件内一站式解决浏览网页等所有移动需求。用户使用一款软件就可与他人通讯、购物、阅读新闻、查询信息。通讯应用将持续助推这一整合,并将开始吞并只具备单一功能的小型应用,最后,用户手机中将只剩下几个独立应用。

微信、Line、KakaoTalk这几款极其火爆的亚洲通讯软件已从此整合中获益。这些公司拓展平台,集支付、游戏及其他功能为一体,与用户互动更为频繁全面,拉动了增长,创造了新的收益源。

如果Kin币合Kik用户的心意,那么他们就会放弃Venmo等其他支付方式,使用Kik相约共进早午餐,并在同一应用内与朋友结算餐费。Kik还会为出境游玩的用户提供便捷的方式,无需兑换外币就可完成购物。不仅Kik的发展可能无限,其他通讯软件为跟上形势研发类似技术也不足为奇。

 

Last week, Kik, the messaging app popular with teenagers, announced that it would be entering the digital currency game with the launch of its own cryptocurrency, Kin. Are you wondering why a messaging app needs a bitcoin-esque component? Well, what we are seeing here is an attempt to emulate the success of China’s hugely popular messaging apps, which include built-in payment services. Expect more Western messaging apps to follow Kik’s lead.

As a company, Kik has never rested on its laurels. Over the past few years, it has experimented with video chat, group chat, and chat bots. The Kin virtual currency is the next step in Kik’s evolution — a strategic step based on Kik’s analysis of how messaging apps have grown in other markets.

Through Kik’s relationship with China’s Tencent, one of its primary investors, the company has had the opportunity to learn how messaging apps like WeChat evolved in Eastern markets. Kik is able to apply these learnings to its development in the West — the key lesson being that the most successful messaging services in China go beyond messaging and have slowly transformed into full platforms.

We’ve survived the mobile app boom and are now experiencing the industry’s consolidation. The average number of apps a regular mobile user has on their phone has gotten smaller and smaller, with consumers utilizing a singular app in order to perform more functions. We’ve seen these changes due to both storage limitations and convenience, and the smartest companies are taking note.

In the Chinese market, users are already accustomed to doing everything from online dating to finding transport to ordering food delivery from within one mobile app, and we will see this trend catch on in North America, with Kik driving the adoption. But while most Asian messaging apps offer an easy in-app payment method (normally the app’s name with the world “pay” after it), these services don’t have a proprietary cryptocurrency. By deploying its own Kin currency, paying users in Kin for their loyalty, and laying down the foundation for a full-fledged digital economy that exists solely inside of Kik with no need for out-of-app technology — or even a credit card — Kik is ensuring users will be tied in to the app.

Messaging apps are uniquely positioned to transform the entire mobile industry. Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik, and others are currently on the phones of almost 80 percent of mobile users. Messaging apps also have a high frequency of use, with consumers interacting with the app multiple times a day. By incorporating additional uses within their apps, messaging companies can provide a more convenient experience for users and encourage them to spend more time within the application. Kin will allow users to make purchases without ever leaving the app, meaning users will spend more time on the platform and are less likely to be distracted by other solutions.

But the strategy won’t end with digital currency. We are going to start seeing more and more utilities within messaging apps. This will culminate with messaging apps being a one-stop-shop for all mobile needs, including browsing. Within a single messaging app, users will be able to communicate with other mobile users, purchase goods, consume news, and look up information. Messaging apps will continue to drive this consolidation and will start eating up smaller apps that only perform one task until users only have a handful of individual apps on their phones. This isn’t a grand prophecy. It’s already happening.

WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk, all extremely popular Asian messaging apps, are already benefiting from this consolidation. By expanding each platform to include payments, games, and other functionalities, these companies are engaging users in more frequent and holistic ways, driving growth and new revenue streams.

If the digital currency catches on with Kik users, we will see users forgo other payment methods (like Venmo) and pay back their friends for brunch inside the same application they used to plan the brunch. Kin will also give Kik users traveling internationally an easy way to purchase items without dealing with foreign currency. Not only are the possibilities endless for Kik, but no one should be surprised to see other messaging apps begin developing similar technology to keep up.


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