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In November 2014, Kik announced a $38.3 million Series C funding round and its first acquisition, buying GIF Messenger "Relay".
The app has been criticized as unsafe for minors due to its anonymity features and allegedly weak parental control mechanisms.Prior to 2015, Kik Interactive addressed this issue by informing parents and police about their options to combat child exploitation.In March 2015, the company adopted a more aggressive strategy by utilizing Microsoft's Photo DNA cloud service to automatically detect, delete, and report the distribution of child exploitation images on its app.When Koçulu refused, Kik Interactive contacted npm management, who agreed to transfer ownership of the module to Kik without Koçulu's consent.Koçulu then unpublished all of his modules from npm, including a popular eleven-line code module called "left-pad" upon which many Java Script projects depended.The feature allows companies to communicate with more potential clients than would be possible manually.
The bot shop added a web bubble (also known as "wubbles") feature to allow rich media content to be shared in conversation threads, as well as suggested responses and a feature allowing bots to be active in group threads.
Users also have the option to delete any offensive content or block another user from contacting them.
These features were developed in response to the widespread use of Kik for "cross-app" communication, whereby a user who encounters people on another app (usually a gaming app) would then use Kik to communicate with them.
(Some experts have noted that because Photo DNA operates by comparing images against an existing database of exploitative images, it does not effectively prevent "realtime" online child abuse and may not detect material not yet added to its comparison database.) Kik Interactive also began collaborating internationally with law enforcement by joining the Virtual Global Taskforce, a partnership between businesses, child protection agencies, and international police services that combats online child exploitation and abuse.
Kik has been criticized for providing inadequate parental control over minors' use of the app.
By this time, Kik had raised a total of $70.5 million.