Last month, Kik announced it would close the ever-popular Kik Messenger app to focus on selling its Kin cryptocurrency and conducting a SEC battle for the Kin cryptocurrency. But today it was a surprise announced on the Kik blog which Kik Messenger will apparently continue to live on, because it was purchased by MediaLab, a holding company that owns companies such as the anonymous message app Whisper and the mixtape exchange service DatPiff.
In the blog post, MediaLab has committed itself to continue to develop Kik Messenger, with the announcement that it will spend "the coming months" on "making the app faster, more reliable and [less] buggy." However, MediaLab also said that helping pay for the maintenance of the messaging service, it will introduce ads "in the coming weeks" in a "non-intrusive" way.
The Kin cryptocurrency will also still be part of the app in some way, as MediaLab said it will "continue to collaborate" with the remaining Kik team in "expanding" Kin integration into the service.
In Kik's original announcement about shutting down Kik Messenger, the company said it would fire more than 100 employees. We don't know if those redundancies have already happened, and today's blog does not mention whether any of the potentially affected employees will move to MediaLab, so it is unclear who is actually on the new Messenger team.
Although it is good to see that Kik Messenger lives on, I have to wonder if it is too little, too late for the app. It seems hard to come back from a shutdown announcement, and I don't think integration with an unproven cryptocurrency will bring the app back into popularity. If there are so many other message options, I can't see Kik becoming hugely popular again.