Kik Group Video Chat

It seems that adding group video chat is the thing right now. Yesterday our portfolio company Kik added group video chat to its popular mobile messenger and Facebook did the same with its Messenger application on the very same day.

Here’s a screenshot of me and AVC regular William Mougayar video chatting in Kik just now.I was in an Uber (as you can see from my notifications). I believe William was in his home office.

My friend and former colleague Jonathan told me this morning that video chat is now “table stakes” for mobile messengers. That may well be true but it’s more impressive when a small company can keep up with the big ones as a Kik employee tweeted yesterday:


Comments (Archived):

  1. Rob Underwood

    That is a great photo of William. Very flattering.

    1. Rob Underwood

      I fear my joke was too subtle here.

  2. LE

    Hey can Jonathan or someone explain “table stakes” in relation to his comment? I see the definition for poker (not playing I had never heard it before) but can’t see how it relates to this particular concept in particular.

    1. Mark Essel

      Maybe ante in this case.

    2. Rob Underwood

      It has come to mean a “bare minimum” or a sine qua non, but in gambling that is actually not quite the original meaning as you allude to

  3. DaveGoulden

    My 17 year old daughter and her friends are all over House Party.

  4. LE

    Meanwhile my daughters are on a plane for a trip and just informed me they are turning off their phones for the week. Exactly when I’d like to be able to video chat with them to see what they are doing and what is going on.

    1. William Mougayar

      They sent you a message 🙂

      1. LE

        Nice to be a kid. When I go away I take 2 laptops as well as clones of hard drives. [1][1] So I can boot up from any other computer same as if I am on my desktop. And yes I also obviously have things that are ‘in the cloud’ (colocated servers).

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I was recently disappointed to discover that certain cruise ships are not set up well for business communication!

          1. LE

            I’ve told the story here before of when I went on a cruise ship way back between 2001 and 2003, I actually called the company that ran the satellite transmission for the cruise line and spoke with a higher level person in engineering to discuss exactly what the capabilities were and if ports were blocked etc. and what I should expect service wise. (No way I would rely on what the cruse line customer service idiot would tell me.) That trip turned out fine. Then the next year or so I went on a different cruise ship and the way they had the network setup there was no way to even connect from a Mac Laptop, only a windows laptop. Of course that doesn’t make sense since wifi is wife but it was true and I was able to verify it while I was onboard with someone that worked for me that made some calls and verified the fact (had something to do with a windows server iirc). So I had to actually connect from the really bad desktops in the internet cafe. I actually tried to buy someones windows laptop while I was on board but wasn’t able to find anyone that would sell me. I almost bought one off ship when we got to port but didn’t I just suffered etc.

          2. Donna Brewington White

            I guess cruise ships don’t expect people to come aboard to work. 😉

        2. creative group

          LE:Usually children can’t get away from technology anywhere or any place. It is saying they are intellectual ahead of capturing experiences that will help create their strong foundation or it is party time and dad “Girls just want to have fun”. Cindi LauperEvery dad would say it is the former.

    2. someone

      LJL you appear to believe them

      1. LE

        What or who is “LJL”?Anyway you have raised an interesting point so I’ve devised a way to verify this.I have noticed that if I turn on “chat” in Facebook (I always have it off and don’t really use Facebook at all) it tells me the last time they logged into Facebook. In this case it shows 4 hours ago which is when they told me they were getting on the airplane).

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Or at least that’s what they told you. 😉

    1. William Mougayar

      Is that from Twitter?

      1. JimHirshfield

        Yes. Evidently “Kik Group Video Chat” is Haitian for “Kick Group Video Cat”(not joking this time)

  5. William Mougayar

    Yup, in home office, with a foot of snow outside :)What I liked about the session we had is the instantaneous connection. As soon as I flipped the video icon to the right, we were connected right away. And it seems Texting is still the primary function, with video as a support to it, which is the opposite of what you get in Hangout or Skype.

    1. awaldstein

      i don’t know if i agree.its a why not feature and my sense is that a very very small percentage of text conversations flip to the interface is not the same as usage in the yes, got to have it. but no–i question whether it is behavioraldifferent things

      1. William Mougayar

        you need to keep in mind that the user segmentation for Kik is mostly in the teenage group.

        1. awaldstein

          smart.but this post was premised that most chats are adding this like facebook messenger and that is certainy not for teens

      2. LE

        Agree that the point of entry is not the same and therefore if you go in as chat you are less likely to say ‘hey let’s do video now’. I still don’t use facetime audio I always call, even though facetime audio is generally a better connection (going over wifi to wifi) it’s just not a habit to do that. Facetime entry point (if you want to call it that) is a habit to do video, not audio. Do most people even know you can do just audio with Facetime?What’s interesting is that as I recall historically one of the reasons that picture phones didn’t take off was that people didn’t want to be seen. The visual aspect presented issues at a time when the world was more formal and what you looked like going out or viewed by others was typically dressed up and not schleppy. So now we have a time when people are less conscious of their looks in general and the younger people even more so don’t care.

  6. BillMcNeely

    The Kik name has always bothered me. It’s too close to the slur for Jewish folks

  7. K_Berger

    My extended family, as well as just about everyone I know, uses Whatsapp to communicate. Until recently I had been pushing Google Duo as the new Facetime. Now that Whatsapp has video chat, I see no reason to use Duo. Also seems like a no-brainer that Whatsapp should have done long ago.

  8. Joe Cardillo

    Does anyone have background / know of a good read on privacy and encryption on group video? I like the feature but hesitant to try it in FB, Kik, or any other until I can find info

  9. LIAD

    8:39am and full battery.California Dreaming.

    1. pointsnfigures

      yes, he is sticking his tongue out at William who is frigid in Toronto.

      1. Brandon G. Donnelly


  10. jason wright

    i would like to be able to type a message on the Kik keyboard of your post snapshot from inside this disqus comments thread using my laptop pointer and trackpad. that would be a silo buster.

  11. pointsnfigures

    Group video, wonder if the audio will be as confusing as uberconference gets sometimes.There was a Chicago TechStars company that was too soon to this group thing: Lasso.

  12. pointsnfigures

    On a different note, what’s better, Google Home or Amazon Alexa and why? Need something for a cabin I am rehabbing in way northern MN. It’s never had electric and we are putting it in-along with Fibre internet (only 14 cabins on the lake too : )) Amazon Prime delivers there too. We got some kayaks last summer delivered by Amazon.

    1. Al Mazzone

      I can’t comment on Google vs Amazon, but I can attest that the Alexa ecosystem is very interesting and the hardware is quite an amazing value.I purchased a Dot a month ago mainly to get familiar with it. I have a ten zone Sonos setup and wanted to get familiar with Alexa before the promised integration with Sonos.I was so impressed with the Dot that I now have an Echo and 3 Dots. The Echo rivals the Sonos Play 1 for quality and the dot performs at a seemingly impossible level considering its size.Dots are on sale for $39 currently and it would be difficult to find an equivalent product anywhere in that price range.Have fun.

  13. Donna Brewington White

    If you are driving then that means you must be in…

  14. Brandon G. Donnelly

    i wish more of my network was on kik so i could use it

  15. Robert Metcalf

    It’s interesting to combine text, which is a discreet asynchronous communication, with video which draws a lot of attention to itself (non-discreet) and is real-time. I guess if you bring opposites together, you have everything covered.(That said, I used a similar feature in Slack today when a thread was going sideways and a quick real-time check-in could clarify things immediately.)

  16. creative group

    FRED:Realize your super busy. But what in the world promoted you to lick your upper lip? ————-CONTRIBUTORS:The regulars know why Fred is long on the kids chat medium KIK. Why is KIK the choice instead of Google Duo, Facebook Messsenger, Hangouts, ooVoo, Tango, Skype or Camfrog? Is it just preference or user dominant (Migrating to the best user experience).