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NBC News Is First TV News Service to Connect with Kik Mobile-Chat Service

NBC News — eager to reach younger audiences — is touting its pact with Kik, a mobile-messaging startup claiming to have more than 200 million registered users.

The deal makes NBC News the first TV news organization with a presence on Kik, for whatever that’s worth. The “NBC News” account on Kik lets the service’s mostly millennial users discover and share real-time news content tailored to the topics they care about most. (Kik does not disclose the number of its monthly active users; the company claims that 40% of U.S. consumers 13-25 use the service.)

Under the pact, Kik users can search for and send a message to the username “NBCNEWS.” If they send a keyword such as “politics” or “technology,” they will immediately receive a current article and video content from NBCNews.com viewable in the Kik app. NBC News also has the ability to push messages to Kik users.

Kik, based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, claims to have worked with more than 60 partners on similar sponsored-chat promos, including Funny or Die, Hearst’s Seventeen, Skullcandy and Vans. Recently, producers of indie film “A Girl Like Her” cut a deal with Kik to launch a chat account promoting the movie’s limited theatrical release.

Founded in 2009, Kik has raised about $70 million from investors including Laconia Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital and SV Angel.

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