How much time do users spend in messaging apps? At least an hour a day on Kik alone, according to the messaging app.
With its new "Attention Metric," Kik can look at chat behavior and how long and often users send messages. And while Kik's privacy policies don't allow the app to record the actual content that users share, it does look at meta data to better understand how people use products.
"We knew we needed a new metric that could help us understand how people are thinking when they're chatting, and measure that mental engagement in chat as opposed to just eyeballs on a screen that's lit up," Joel Cumming, Kik's head of data, said in an interview.
Kik separates chats into three different types: active chats, passive chats and sporadic chats. With active chats, users send messages about every 20 seconds with quick succession. With passive chats, the time in between each sent or received message is about every three minutes. For sporadic chats, the chats could be longer periods apart.
According to the new data, the more than 300 million users on the platform spend an average of 12.7 minutes in a chat session with about six separate chats a day. Female teen users are substantially more active than male teens, spending about 35 percent more time using the app. Teen "super users" comprise about 10 percent of the overall user base and spend more than two and a half hours every day on the app.
So what does this all mean? Cumming said the type of use and length of use can help advertisers better understand how consumers prefer to use the platform—which could in turn help inform brands about the type of messaging apps they should invest in, either for customer service or entertainment-focused experiences in the form of chat bots.
"Depending on the nature of the bot, if it's utility-based and if it's trying to facilitate a transaction or solve a specific problem, those interactions should be very efficient and small and painless," Cumming said. "But if it's trying to drive content (entertainment), maybe that's through a game or some type of content delivery, then you might be starting to regress back to time spent in engagement."
Here are some other stats released by Kik: