With social media becoming a ubiquitous factor in most facets of the average person's life, it's not all that surprising that advertising on these platforms has also become big business. However, with Facebook and other "walled gardens" getting to dictate the rules of the game and frustrating some advertisers, both in terms of choice and performance (see our discussion regarding the shortcomings of Facebook's advertising network for automotive dealerships here), it's safe to say that pairing up the influence of social media with worthwhile advertising operations is a process fraught with various bumps in the road.
From this perspective, it makes all the sense in the world for one of the fastest growing new social networks, Kik, to step in and offer up a different approach to blending these two industries together.
In terms of how Kik intends to undertake this endeavor, Marty Swant of Adweek reports that this Canada-based messaging app will leverage a new cryptocurrency at the core of its efforts to rethink brand engagement, improve online transactions, and erase the stranglehold on the digital world currently held by Facebook and Google. Known as "Kin," this Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency will not only serve as the preferred payment method for transactions on Kik, but will also eventually support usage outside of this messenger app.
While cryptocurrencies are not exactly new to the digital world, especially with Bitcoin's value continuing to skyrocket with each passing day, having a major social network like Kik adopt this type of technology and incorporate it into its platform heralds a decided shift from this currency's dubious past as the payment form of choice for illicit activities on the "dark web" to a spot of honor within the limelight of the mainstream digital world.
Outside of simply embracing Kin as a type of payment facilitator between users, their contacts, and engaged brands, the leading voices over at Kik headquarters also hope that this new cryptocurrency will help "democratize" the consumer experience within chatbots and other emerging technologies – and avoid replicating the state of today's conventional online advertising marketplace in which Google and Facebook combine to receive roughly 85 cents of every new dollar spent on digital marketing.
Will Kik's new cryptocurrency break the mold and usher in a new era of digital advertising that supersedes the Google-Facebook paradigm that defines the current marketplace? How does Kik plan to push adoption among advertisers and users alike ahead of Kin's official release? To answer these questions, let's spend a few minutes connecting with Swant over on Adweek as he tackles all of the details of this intriguing new development within the shared space of social networking and digital advertising.