Taking cues from Tencent’s messaging app WeChat, Hike has added Push-to-talk (PTT) and other features to its instant messaging app (hat tip Anupam Saxena). The feature is currently available on Hike’s iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 apps. It’s not clear whether the company has also rolled it out to its Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and Symbian apps.
Besides PTT feature, it has also added support for four new languages including Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese, ability to share last seen only to your circle of friends, and added two new free sticker packs – Snuggles the Dog and Miley the Cat.
When we checked on our Android handset, the PTT feature is insanely easier to use, however, what irks me is to send an voice message I have to go through two clicks. Comparatively, WeChat handles it much better with just one click to send voice message. However, WeChat is pushing its PTT feature more than text messaging and it takes more number of clicks to send a text message in WeChat than in other instant messaging apps. Check out the layout of Hike on the left and WeChat on the right.
It has also added a new feature to share when a user was last online only with Circle of Friends. However, we feel the feature is counterintuitive, as this feature is actually used by close friends to question why you aren’t replying.
Besides this, Hike has also added support for Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese. Note that Hike already supports German. However, we found it rather difficult to enable new language on Android handset. Hike team informs us that it can be done from Android settings, however it didn’t appear for us in Android settings.
In April 2013, Hike had announced that it had crossed 5 million users since its global launch in December 2012. Hike had also informed MediaNama that 60% of its user base is from India and the rest global led by Middle East and Europe. Around 20 percent of its overall messaging traffic comes from its Hike2sms feature. In the same month, Hike had also raised $7 million in funding from Bharti SoftBank and had revamped its mobile apps bringing in new features like status update with moods, circle of friends and mute notifications among others.