With usernames being at the heat of social, this tutorial is going show you how to change your Kik display name. It will then quickly cover selecting usernames and how to consider what a username says about you.
Kik is an immensely popular chat app even if it doesn’t get the headlines that WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger does. Known for its simplicity and anonymity, it is this app we turn to when we don’t want to be readily identified or require an element of anonymity before we get to know someone.
Changing your change your Kik display name helps you evolve while using the platform, provides changeable anonymity and lets you appear as different people in different situations. This can be useful for everything from investigative journalism to illicit meetings.
Changing your Kik display name
Kik uses two names, the display name and the username. The username is your unique identifier and is tied to your Kik account. You cannot change your username but it is not publicly displayed. The only way to change this is to shut down your Kik account and set up a new one.
Your display name is the name you give people who you want to be able to contact you using the app. It is this name that we can change.
To change your display name, do this:
- Open Kik and log in.
- Select the cog icon in the top right of the main page to access settings.
- Select Your Account and select Name.
- Change the name to something else and then hit Ok.
Back on the main Kik page, your new name should be displayed at the top along with your profile image.
Selecting a Kik display name
The act of changing your display name is the easy part. Coming up with a good name is the part that takes the time. You could use a name generator like Jimpix, SpinXO, Namestation or Nickname Generator or you could come up with something yourself.
Those name generation websites will create random names from an algorithm or ask a couple of questions about your personality to come up with something. They are usually lame but you might find the odd good one in there.
How much effort you put into your Kik display name depends on what you use the app for. I have a friend who conducts interviews using the app. She likes it because it offers her anonymity to question freely. Her interviewees also like it because they can remain anonymous until the time is right to go public. I also know people who use Kik for far less serious reasons!
I guess most of us will use Kik for hanging out, chatting and getting to know someone before we let them have our number, Facebook, Instagram or other account.
If you don’t want to be recognized on Kik
If anonymity is your priority when using Kik, you need a display name with at least one degree of separation. For example, say you’re a dark haired cycling fan who hates football in real life. Using a display name of ‘Blond49er’ or something would lead anyone suspicious about you down completely the wrong path. As would any name referencing football, soccer, Vikings, blondes and fair hair. It’s just one example of a million possible scenarios but you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be a polar opposite, just something nobody would readily associate with you.
If you just want to be anonymous on Kik
You can use the degree of separation principle if you like but you don’t need to if all you want is a display name that isn’t your own. You can use the same rules we use for all of our social media usernames or gaming names. Come up with a few words that you like the sound of and go with them.
Unlike games or other social networks, display names on Kik are disposable. Your username will stay constant but only between you and the Kik servers. You can set your display name to whatever you like and change it at will.
Just remember, inappropriate names, childish, racist, offensive, dumb or just plain stupid names will have the same effect as they do on other social networks. If you want to be viewed as such then go ahead. If you want to be taken seriously or want people to want to interact with you, don’t bother.
As I said earlier, it’s easy to change your Kik display name. The hard part is coming up with something suitable. I have given you some ideas and I’m sure you can come up with your own.
How do you come up with usernames or display names? Tell us about it below!