If you haven’t yet learned about Kik, it’s about time to educate yourself. Kik is the latest in smartphone apps, and quite possibly the trendiest. The app is a cross-platform application for smartphones that delivers the basic function of instant messaging. You may be asking, “What’s the big deal?” Well, don’t confuse it with standard text messaging – Kik is a bit different. For one, you cannot use it until the app is downloaded – but most importantly, the real benefit of using the new app is that it offers users an opportunity to engage in instant messaging without the data charges or text limits often associated with regular phone plans. Furthermore, the app is being touted as being “crazy fast” with a face-to-facAe feel that many users will love.

There are a bunch of cool features that Kik offers. These include, but are not limited to:

Notifications: the app alerts you when you have both sent and received messages

Friend Invite: Kik allows users to issue invited to people either via SMS text, email or Facebook, Twitter and other social networks

Multimedia Message Sending: the application allows users to send more that just text messages. Rather, “kiksters” can transmit other media including pictures, videos – and yes, emoticons, too.

Social Integration: With Kik, users can link to their favorite social platforms – which happens to be more than just Facebook and Twitter, but other networks like Instagram, SocialCam and Viddy. (a new video app that offers an easy way for users to “capture, produce and share beautiful videos with the world.” For more information on what Viddy is, read more.)

Profile Creation: Just like on your favorite social network, you can create a full-fledged Kik profile including your username  and account embellished with your best profile pic and pertinent contact information.

Good-looking Chat: Not only can you see via lists all of the chats you have going with your friends, you can customize how the chat looks by tweaking features like what color your chat bubbles are.

Protection: Users have the ability to block users, tweak their privacy settings, decide whether or not Kik can access your contacts list and so on…

Are You Ready for Kik-Off?

Downloading the Kik app is super easy, particularly because it is so versatile and can be used with so many different mobile systems. Download it from iTunes, Google Play, Blackberry App World, Windows Phone Marketplace, Nokia’s Ovi Store and more.

Once its is downloaded, you are pretty much ready to go: simply create your account and get messaging! There is one caveat though: You will need Wifi to access Kik, and in order to chat with friends they will need to have downloaded the app as well. Despite these kinks, however, this little-known messaging service is slowly growing in popularity in today’s swarmed technological marketplace.