While the world is still digesting the biggest news of 2014 – Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 Billion, India’s very own messaging app Hike has revealed its numbers. Hike which is backed by Bharti Soft Bank, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japanese operator SoftBank, also Hike’s parent company has announced that it has crossed the 15 million user milestone, tripling its user base within just 9 months.
While revealing the registered users and not the active users, Hike has also stated that over 80% of its users are under 25 years of age. Based on these figures the company is also branding itself as one of the fastest growing mobile applications to be born out of India and at the same time it is tagging itself as the “Youth Messaging App.”
Launched globally in 2012, the company is focusing solely on youth. Over the time it has added some interesting features that are bound to catch their attention, such as Last Seen Privacy where one can decide to share their ‘Last Seen’ and ‘Status Updates’ with a chosen set of friends, Hike Offline that allows users to send free messages to their friends who’re offline and 2-way Chat Themes, allowing users to change the chat background for both them and their friends. Though these features are not unique as you are bound to see them in most of the other popular messaging apps.
Stickers, which are a must on any messaging app these days, have found space in Hike too. The app has introduced a feature where users can send free messages to their friends who’re offline.
Sharing his thought on how Hike is progressing, Kavin Bharti Mittal, Creator, Hike messenger added that, “We’re completely focused on the youth and we’ve got some really cool and innovative ideas we’re working on in the pipeline for that segment.”
The company is trying to connect with the youth of the country and it recently played cupid with the lovelock game on valentine’s eve. The game of connecting with anonymous singles was driven ultimately by the motive of users downloading the app.
While it is not known how many new users have been added since then, Hike has some stiff competition with players like WhatsApp, WeChat, Line in the country. WhatsApp which has been the leader in this space last reported that it has 35M monthly active users from the country and Line, WeChat are trying out new business deals to provide incentives for users to join in. In all this, Hike’s repositioning itself as India’s number one youth messaging app might just come as a mere respite.