The app itself is available for i OS and Android and asks users to create a miniature profile by either importing information from Facebook or just punching in a username, email address, password (and, of course, a profile picture)goofy to creepy pretty quickly, with the chatrooms full of abusive language and invitations from strangers to start "chatting in private" - an especially worrying feature given that the sign-up age is just 13 years old and requires no external verification (and users can always choose to hide their age).The app also offers the chance to browse profiles in your area, and judging by the short bios some users have written (“no nudes plz”; “don’t message me if your [sic] 50”) this feature can be a magnet for creeps.The app itself has actually been around for at least a year, but is gaining popularity fast with its combination of Whats App-style messaging (you can send text, images or audio clips) and a Tinder-esque matching system that lets users jump into one-on-one or group chats with strangers near their location.This mechanism means that despite its cartoon livery of ginger cats, Meow Chat combines some of more Wild West elements of socializing online – its chat rooms are chaotic, full of belligerent and friendly users in pretty much equal measure, and the one-on-one chats are as unpredictable as that stalwart of the genre: Chat Roulette.Kik is basically a chat room and allows users to anonymously message one another via usernames. Since anyone can create a username, cyber-bullies and sexual predators can use it to communicate and commit crimes in an environment where it's hard for law enforcement to retrieve the messages.According to , in the case of a court order or emergency situation Kik can [provide] ( the authorities with a time-stamped log of a Kik user’s sent and received messages, such as in the case of Nicole.
If you use Kik, follow these tips from Safe Teens to protect yourself:● Think about what you post.
What’s worse is that Meow Chat has ‘gamified’ attention on the app, offering users a Meow Chat score that doles out points when their pictures get ‘favourited’ or when they invite all their Facebook friends to install Meow Chat.
This last mechanism is probably why the app has gotten so popular so suddenly, with users spamming each other to earn ‘Meow Points’.
Company spokesperson Rod Mc Loed told the Associated Press that the problem is bigger than just Kik — especially when other messaging apps operate similarly.
Kik is currently cooperating with the FBI investigation into Nicole’s death and simultaneously working to [educate] ( people about how to stay safe on the app.