Canadian messaging app Kik improves safety strategy to protect its youth demographic

The Canadian-based messaging app Kik has a user base of over 300 million, 60 percent of whom are between the ages of 13 and 19.

As a result, Kik has recently upgraded its safety features to protect its young audience when interacting on the platform. One of the primary improvements includes a feature called ‘SafePhoto,’ which automatically detects, reports, and deletes known child exploitation images

This course of action is primarily to protect against child pornography on the platform. In March 2015, Kik began using Microsoft PhotoDNA to identify victims of sexual slavery flagged by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

In addition, Kik partnered with ConnectSafely last month to create a parents’ handbook and work both with Koko, a company that connects distressed people to bots that can comfort them, and Crisis Text Line, a support platform for teens who are experiencing distress.

Koko was acquired by Kik in March, and there is currently a Koko bot on Kik’s platform. A Crisis Text Line for Kik is still being developed.

Chat platforms are currently the most popular form of communication on the planet after phone numbers, Venture Beat reports. Therefore, the issue of remaining safe on these platforms has grown in recent years.

Related: Why Kik and Facebook are fighting over bots like Chatty McChatface while investors watch

[source]Venture Beat[/source]