Messaging apps and platforms continue to be huge players in the online world of 2020, and there are a wide variety of messaging platforms to choose from. Apple users are most likely to commit to iMessage for their messaging needs, while Android is the domain of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, even though both those platforms work with iOS as well. Voice and text chat apps like Slack and Discord allow specific groups to communicate together, and social network apps like Twitter have a built-in chat interface. Even dating apps like Tinder have built-in chat clients that allow you to meet and chat with potential romantic partners, although on Tinder at least the main goal of being in the chat is to get someone’s number so that you can chat outside of Tinder. There are no shortage of ways to communicate with other people through your phone, but what if you want to meet new people with similar interests?
One popular option for meeting new people online is that chat application known as Kik. The app has been a popular choice for users, particularly younger users, ever since it was unveiled in 2010. Kik makes it easy to stay anonymous, which lets people feel more comfortable about opening up to strangers online. The app is well-designed and has plenty of “must-have” chat features. The interface is modern and clean, the app supports group chats and chat rooms, and the addition of video chatting makes it easy to meet people face to face, whether they live down the street or thousands of miles away.
Kik is, in many ways, a mini internet ecosystem within a single app, so it’s no wonder that the app has over 300 million registered users. If you haven’t yet tried the app, it’s best to grab it right now from the Apple App Store or from the Google Play Store. Don’t worry, it’s free. One of the great things about Kik is that chat rooms are an integral part of the app. In this article I’m going to show you how you can find the best Kik chat rooms, both within the app’s interface and through outside sources.
Who Kik is For
It’s important to take note of the demographics of Kik. A large portion of Kik’s own users are teenagers—in fact, over 40 percent of teenagers in the United States were on the service as of May, 2016. There are plenty of older folks on Kik as well, but the age of the people chatting on Kik is something to keep in mind as you go through our sources for chat rooms. If you’re an older Kik user, it’s important to remember that the people you’re chatting with online may be underage, since Kik’s terms of service only require the user to be 13 in order to use the platform. Likewise, if you’re under the age of 18, you should be careful about who you’re chatting with. It’s important to try your best to stay safe online when you’re chatting with strangers. Never share any personal information about yourself, and especially don’t accept any invitations to meet in person.
Finding Public Communities on Kik
Kik chat rooms work a bit differently than rooms on other platforms like AIM or Discord. Chat rooms on Kik are group chats, which means that any particular chat room can disappear if the creator of the group disbands it. This means that you should be aware that any particular chat group might not stick around.
When you first load the Kik app, it will take you to the main screen, where a list of all your Kik contacts will appear. You won’t have any contacts at first, they’ll start showing up here as you start making friends on the app. At the bottom of the list, however, you’ll find what we’re looking for – the “Explore Public Groups” button.
That’s the place to start your search for interesting groups. Tap that button, and a search interface will come up. Kik group names are prefixed with a hash mark (“#”) but you don’t have to put the hash mark in to search. There’s a list of popular searches on the search page, or you can type in your own keyword.
Let’s say you’re a bicycling enthusiast, so you search for “bicycle”. Well, sure enough, there are a couple of bicycle groups – just tap on one that comes up from your search. Notice that next to the name of the group there’s a number – “47/50”. What does that mean? Well, Kik groups are limited to 50 members at a time. Once someone joins a chat group, they take up one of those spots, and until they actually leave the group, they stay in there. That means that some groups, although apparently “full”, end up not having a lot of activity.
Once you tap on the group name, the group page will come up, listing all the members of the group. You can tap on “Join Public Group” to jump right into the chat.
If you want to leave a group that you’ve joined, you’ll have to go back to your main screen. Then find the group in your list, long-press its icon, and select “Leave”. Until you do that, you’re taking up one of the group’s slots – so please be sure to practice good etiquette and leave groups when you’re done chatting there.
There are a lot of groups on Kik. Not surprisingly, plenty of the groups are based on popular media: Game of Thrones, Rick and Morty, Justin Bieber, Marvel, and DC all rank among the top searches online. The biggest problem with Kik groups is that groups based on common keywords such as “Movies” are of course instantly filled up. Instead, you have to find one of the many other movie-themed groups, and they aren’t always keyword-friendly.
As it happens, however, there are other options for finding groups, and they don’t rely on Kik itself.
Finding Kik Chat Rooms Through Outside Sources
If you’re looking to communicate with new people online, you aren’t just looking for a generic chatroom—you’re looking for an active one. This is where using social platforms comes in handy, since plenty of online groups have been created to help users find and connect with similar-minded (and hopefully similarly aged) people. These sites became popular because there was a time when Kik disabled the search function; although the function has been restored, the various group-finding sites continue to thrive.
The best source online for Kik groups is, unsurprisingly, a Reddit group listed under the subreddit r/KikGroups. With over 16,000 active members, it’s easy to find people online to message with. New submissions for groups come in every couple of hours on average, and the community seems both helpful and friendly. Each group submission comes with the title and topic listed in the invite, along with an age range of people allowed into the group. Some groups seem to list just an 18+ age requirement, while others are more specific, listing ranges like “16 to 22” or “14 to 19.” These might seem a bit broad (what would a 19-year-old college student and a 14-year-old high school freshman be able to discuss with each other that wouldn’t risk crossing a line?), but generally, it’s easy to pinpoint an appropriate group for your age. You can use Reddit’s powerful search feature to look for the kinds of groups you find interesting, if wading through an endless stream of group announcements doesn’t appeal.
At the time of this writing, there’s a good amount of variation in available groups. Some general groups, like #coffeeisgreat or #pocketdimension, seem to look for new users that fall into their general age range (all and 18+, respectively). There are some specific groups just for teens, including the one that makes reference to the 14 to 19 age range mentioned above. Military-friendly chats welcome users of all ages, and there’s even a group active for talking about books with #booktalk. Some groups have additional details written within their own Reddit post, giving the reason for existing and welcoming anyone into the group that adds the specific public hash as we mentioned above. Other groups are built privately, and still use the Kik code interface that originally replaced public groups. These posts link to a page to add the Kik code from your phone using your camera, after which you’ll be accepted into the group automatically.
Reddit isn’t your only option for looking for new groups. Facebook has a ton of online groups dedicated to finding Kik chat rooms online, though unlike Reddit these communities have become a bit more inactive since the reintroduction of public chats. While there are still plenty of Facebook groups that are returned within the chat, many of these are private groups that you’ll have to ask to join, instead of being able to simply browse the listings like you can on Reddit. Tumblr has a tagged section available for browsing for group chats, though you’re more likely to find selfies when you’re in the KikGroups tag than actual Kik codes.
Searching Google or Bing will get you some returns if you’re looking for a specific group, though as we saw with Facebook, the new public chat feature seems to make these searches a bit obsolete. It’s much easier to find new groups through the Kik chat than through using a search engine online. Finally, there are several online websites that exist primarily to find new users and groups to chat with, though we’re going to restrain from linking to those sites, as they’ve been known to play host to dangerous or shady predators and we would rather not point anyone towards any trouble. Since the age of Kik’s audience trends young, it’s important to be careful when using these sites. Even the Reddit group can sometimes get close to the line, though the rules and guidelines there established by the moderators keep things a bit cleaner than you might otherwise expect.
With Kik having finally re-added public chats back into the application, it’s easier than ever to find chat rooms online while maintaining your safety and privacy. It’s important for younger users to be aware of the danger from online predators, and to stick to their age group for chats. It’s important for adult users to be responsible and avoid leading younger people into areas they shouldn’t be in. Basically you need to be careful when you approach a new member online. Just have some common sense and duck out when something makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable, and you should be pretty well equipped to keep yourself safe, regardless of your age.
Kik has come a long way in trying to provide their users with a reasonable amount of safety when browsing online, and it’s a positive step to see the new public chats feel a bit more safe than ever before. You should be able to find chat groups that give you plenty of things to talk about.
We’ve got more resources for the Kik users out there!
If a conversation goes bad, you might be blocked. Here’s how to tell if someone has blocked you on Kik. Getting tired of Kik? We’ve got a bunch of alternatives to Kik you can try. Want to change things up? Here’s our guide to changing your Kik username. Need help with the basics? Here’s our tutorial on getting started with Kik. And if you decide that Kik just isn’t right for you, here’s our walkthrough on deleting your Kik account.