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December 16, 2014

Kik’s hashtags update connects friends to more conversations

Users can now add up to 50 friends to a group.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The startup behind the Kik messanger app is looking to make users more connected after updating the service with hashtags.

The instant messaging app, which is available on iOS, Android and Windows, now allows users to create a group chat with hashtags that can include up to 50 friends at once.

CEO Ted Livingston, in a blog post, said: "Hashtags on Kik allow you to spin up your own chat rooms in a matter of seconds."

"You no longer have to manually add everyone to a group chat? — ?you just yell out a hashtag and people can add themselves."

He added: "Hashtags are doorways to new conversations, of which you can be a real part? — ?personal, intimate, social. It’s a way to let you be whoever you want to be, with whoever wants to talk to you."

Users can also add a group name, photos and remove people from the group, according to the firm.

"If you want to chat to people about the photo of the drone you just published to Instagram, you can post the Kik hashtag #mydronechat," said Livingston.

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"Kik accounts are based on usernames, not phone numbers, so you don’t have to worry about giving out too much personal information, and you can always block any unwanted contact."

The improvements come almost a month after the firm raised $38m in a round led by hedge fund Valiant Capital Partners and acquired messaging app firm Relay.

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