Former BlackBerry employee, Ted Livingston, left the company and went on to develop cross-platform Kik messenger, which subsequently lead to a patent infringement suit. Kik Interactive Inc. is also a Waterloo, Ont.-based developer with only 35 employees.

Kik recently reached 80 million registered global users, pitting it higher than BBM’s 60 million. “Within mobile, I think it shows that messaging is really the killer app,” he said in an interview with the Financial Post.

“Similar to what search was for the web era, and similar to what spreadsheets were for the PC era. It’s a communication device and we rarely talk on the phone any more, we just text. And this is texting for free, but better.”

Livingston understands that the mobile messaging apps must be on multiple platforms. This is something that BlackBerry only recently has announced by soon offering BBM on iOS and Android.

“Back then in 2009, [BBM] could have been the mobile messenger, if only they had gone cross-platform,” said Mr. Livingston. “But they chose not to, and today, they’re left behind in the race. And it’s not clear whether they’ll be able to catch up at this point.”

Since Kik launched, it hit over 1 million users in only 15 days. Kik had 10 million users by mid-2012. It reached 81.8 million users this week, with 50% of its base in the U.S. and 3% of its users in Canada. Kik says there are 4.5 billion messages sent via Kik messenger each week.

In the coming months, it will certainly be interesting to see what happens once BBM goes toe-to-toe with Kik. Who do you think will be the victor?

via FP