156 – Jaclyn Ling of Kik – All About The Bots

Chat bots…

Jaclyn Ling (bio), Director of Retail at Kik Interactive, Inc (a cross-platform messenger app that connects people to friends in real-time, allowing chat, private picture sharing, planning outings with groups, and staying connected, popular amongst teens), joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and Marc Raco .

An acquisition story, rapid growth, and what teens want

Ling reviews being an early adopter of bots, how a music app became a messenger app, Kik’s incredibly rapid growth, her prior company blinkStyle and being acquired by Kik, the massive traction of 300 Million users mostly US teenagers, thoughts of pursuing appeal to other demographics, what teens are consuming today, social meeting, deepening friendships, games, and sharing expression, and how the death of Vine affected Kik. The rise of opportunities when apps have decreasing growth to improve traffic, developers building on top of chat, and an open API.

Social shopping, data for brands, and bots with personalities

How shopping is a social experience and offering that via chat, offering brands the opportunity to learn about customers and getting answers in real time, and gaining a lot of data that can be provided to retailers. Looking at what will create engaging experiences in chat, developing bots with personalities mirroring friends, and working with influencers who have their own bots. How Kik is monetizing, what kind of brands should be on Kik platform, a vision of the future, and the virtualization of friendships.

Balance of talent, work ethic and competition

Off the Grid Questions covers a potential change of balance of talent resulting from changing political climate, solid work ethic, and a competitive spirit.


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