Kik Interactive, Inc has hired former global CEO of Accuen, an advertising agency owned by Omnicom Media Group, to “build experiences for brands and partners within the app” according to a recent press release put out by Kik. His job will be to help build a Los Angeles-based presence for Kik, expanding the company’s footprint beyond its established offices in Waterloo, New York City, and San Francisco.
Jacobs will assume the role of “president of Kik Services” and will work to enlist partners and build what the company refers to as “compelling chat-based experiences” beyond the company’s Promoted Chats and Kik Points.
building out an “ecosystem of services” around Kik Messenger
“Josh is that rare professional who gets both developers and advertisers,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik. “That’s exactly the sort of skill set we need to build out an ecosystem of services around Kik.”
Jacobs says Kik is perfectly poised to capitalize on the fast-growing opportunity for chat networks, perhaps the most important sector to emerge in consumer computing since social networking. Like Tencent’s WeChat, which dominates personal computing in China, Kik offers consumers, brands, and developers the chance to interact in a one-to-one setting built around the most popular feature of the mobile phone: messaging. In WeChat, users can talk to their friends, share content, play games, buy goods, order fast food, and book taxis, among other things. Kik has previously said publicly that it wants to be the “WeChat of the West.”
“Chat has emerged as the next great platform, not only for communications but also for building relationships,” said Jacobs. “Kik’s scale, open platform, and commitment to helping partners build chat-powered businesses has created an awesome canvas for innovation, open to everyone from developers to marketers.”
Jacobs, a veteran of the ad-tech industry, has previously occupied executive roles at Glam Media and Yahoo, where he was vice-president and general manager for advertising technology platforms. His role at Kik starts immediately.