This week, Kik Messenger Bot Shop celebrates an entire year of existence. Now there are more than 20,000 bots available, with some of them having reached more than one million users. Kik CEO Ted Livingston states that in the second year of the Bot Shop, the focus will be geared towards monetization and, most specifically, in terms of payment ability. Of course, making payments with Kik is not a total impossibility at the moment. Certain bots already take you to company websites where products can be purchased, so that option is already operational.
Livingston, however, wants payments to be handled within the Kik Messenger itself, making use of such technology as QR codes, such as WeChat already uses. With more than 300 million users, he wants to focus on the future of the messenger and the abilities that can be arranged in monetization.
Livingston has noted that the iPhone App Store also did not have a means of making payments in their first year either. One of the reasons he cited for this was the fact that, at that time, people were often making apps that turned out to be gimmicks or hobbies for some tech builders. He says that with the amount of potential for the messenger, the payment option is an obvious next step, and has been a missing piece this whole last year.
With the use of monetized bots, he says, there is potential to unlock the offline world around us, making for seamless interaction. While certain venues such as movie theatres and train stations do, in fact, have apps you can download, there is a lot of work involved. First, you must download the app for the place you are wanting to use it, then create an account and finally, learn how to use it.
With bots, this will not be near the problem of downloading apps. QR codes, which are used extensively in China, can be placed nearly anywhere. They will allow you to scan them directly with your messenger and give you a completely different experience for interaction, and with more speed and precision.
The last, and probably most critical, step for Kik messenger is to make it possible to pay for just about anything you will encounter throughout your day. Whether it be payment for a movie ticket, train ticket, a restaurant meal or any other real life scenario, Kik wants to make it as simple as scanning a code.