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  • Writer's pictureAngelina Darrisaw

Speed Learning Popular Apps, Like KIK, With WICT NY

Women In Cable Telecommunications' (WICT) is a media industry organization, with a mission to "[develop] women leaders who transform [the] industry." With over 10,000 national members, WICT is "the largest and most renowned organization representing women in the cable arena." In addition to national programming and events that bring women from all over the company together, WICT offers local chapters that amplify this mission thorough programming to meet the needs of members.

Recently, on May 25, 2016, WICT's New York chapter hosted a "Tech It Out" event at Thoughtworks to offer speed learning of popular social media apps. Tech it Out events help educate members more deeply on pertinent technology trends that affect the industry. Over 60 members and friends attended to get expert insights on the use of popular apps.

Kik, Snapchat, Venmo, Periscope, Instagram and Vine were covered in a speed dating format, where attendees were broken up into small groups and had an app expert assigned to them. After every 10 minutes the expert rotated to a new group and the group experimented with a new app. I focused on Kik, which was a former client of mine when I worked at Viacom. In my demo sessions, users downloaded the app and we explored the functionality and I shared some stats about the growth and history of the company, as well as recently released metrics.

Kik is a Waterloo, Ontario-based free messaging app that’s popular with teenagers. It was founded in 2009 by a group University of Waterloo students interested in shifting computing from the PC to the smartphone and in 2010, Kik Messenger was released. It's functionality allows for easy sharing of photos, sketches, voice messages, and other content quickly. It also is easy to create group chat experiences within the app.

Last year, WeChat backer, Tencent, invests $50M in 2015 to help Kik become the “WeChat of the West” and by 2016, Kik has a $1 billion valuation and releases compelling usage stats. They share more than 300 million registered users and that over 40% of American youth use Kik to chat, browse and share with their friends. They also suggest teens are spending 35 minutes per session in the app.

After a how-to tutorial, I led a quick discussion around how media companies have used and could find value from partnering with Kik. We took a look at Comedy Central and MTV chats and also played around with brands like Sephora and Funny Or Die. The goal was to help make women who are decision makers and leaders in their companies smarter about the usage and impact of newer technologies that have scale with some of their company's audiences. I was really happy to work with WICT to achieve that goal in an experience that was really engaging, fun, and differentiated.

*Photos courtesy of WICT NY

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