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Hike Messenger expands its services to include ‘short form news’ feature

Hike Messenger today announced the launch of ‘hike 4.0′, aimed at
redefining the consumer experience in the instant messaging space.

The latest release is available for Android users on the Google Play
Store already and will be available on the iOS platform next week, reports
YourStory.

Hike Messenger today announced the launch of ‘hike 4.0′, aimed at
redefining the consumer experience in the instant messaging space.

The latest release is available for Android users on the Google Play
Store already and will be available on the iOS platform next week, reports
YourStory.

Hike messenger was founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal and was globally
launched in 2012. In April 2013, they hit their first 5 million user
milestone and had raised $7 million in funding. Then in April last year, they
received $14 million in fresh funding from BSB and crossed the 20 million user
mark in June 2014.

Then in August 2014 and received $65 million in funding led by Tiger
Global. Post that from November 2014 to February 2015 they launched
features such as regional stickers, free VoIP calls and cricket scores on Hike in partnership with CricBuzz.

Hike claims that the version 4.0 is 5x faster than its predecessor and is
designed for the ‘next billion’ Indian consumers, who are experiencing Internet
for the first time. They claim to have optimized the new update
for low-end phones and poor network conditions. To add to the mass
appeal, they have introduced about 10 new features, including ‘short form news’
updates within the app, group chat for up to 500 people among other features.

According to the report, the latest release includes ‘Sticker
Suggestions’, that recommends stickers to users as they type allowing them to
express themselves through a catalogue of about 5000 stickers available on the
platform. Hike now also allows up to 500 members in a single group chat and has
introduced the ability to have multiple admins in a group to make managing
groups better and easier for larger groups of people.

In addition to gearing up for 4G, hike has introduced the ability to
transfer files in the form of documents, PDF, zip and all other kinds of files
up to a 100 MB limit. They have also launched photo filters and doodles to
allow consumers to have fun and spice up their photos.

About the thought process behind these features, Kavin added in the
report, “In a mobile-first market like
India where people are going to be witnessing photo sharing for the first time
especially with low-end phones, we wanted to provide a set of tools to allow
them to make their photos look better and have a bit of fun. That’s the idea
behind photo filters and doodles. We’ve got really cool local filters like
Sholay!”

Hike has also launched a ‘Short form news’ feature within their app. The service
allows users on the platform to get quick bite-sized news updates in under a
100 characters. Within 24 hours of the launch of ‘News’, hike claims to
have over a million people actively using the service currently.

Commenting on the news feature, Kavin told YourStory, “We aggregate news content from the top news
publications and blogs across India. We parse through over a thousand stories
every day and using some smarts ensure that the most relevant, timely
content is delivered to users multiple times during the day in a bit-sized
format.”

Kavin said in the report that he sees the demand for quick, bite-sized
news updates on smartphones to be quite large over the course of a day, and
considers it an ideal choice for people living in a mobile-first world. He
added, “Approximately 100 stories are published every day but we’re careful not
to bombard people with everything. You’ll see no more than three-four
notifications throughout the day showing news articles that are extremely
popular.”

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