Sequoia Capital Partner, Aaref Hilaly, recently in an interview with TechCrunch, said that messaging apps are the new kind of social network. And Asia is the market that is getting crowded day by day with the popularity of various messaging apps and their ties up with interesting businesses. Hike, the messaging app from Bharti SoftBank (BSB) that is slowly being noticed has recently announced that it has partnered with the mobile handset maker Nokia. According to the new partnership, Nokia would be preloading the messaging app Hike in its handset.
The latest agreement would be carried out on selective phones of Nokia such as Lumia 510, Lumia 720 and all Nokia Asha Full Touch phones sold in India. Speaking on the occasion, the BSB’s Head of Product and Strategy, Kavin Bharti Mittal said that they at BSB are quite excited with this ecosystem partnership which is critical part of their overall business strategy.
It is a win-win situation for both the businesses. Hike which recently crossed 5 million users gets an opportunity to increase its user base with the feature of being a preloaded app in the handset. Subsequently, Nokia which has loaded the app in Asha as well as Lumia is trying to attract all pockets and in a way expects to increase its sale in the country. Smart move from the Finnish mobile phone maker at a time when it is leading in the country with 21.8% market share in the Indian mobile market.
Nokia has been quite proactive in getting into strategic partnerships. Last month, Nokia introduced its latest Asha 201 with dedicated WhatsApp button. However, the deal with BSB for its app does not provide the option of creating a dedicated button. 20 billion messages are being delivered by WhatsApp per day, clearly indicating that the numbers are on its side. Last year, Nokia had launched Asha 205 with a Facebook button too.
So, it would be interesting to see if with this deal Hike gets any boost in its traffic from India which at present is 60% of Hikes total user base.