Instant messaging app Hike Messenger has started aggregating Hindi news stories and will be rolling out the feature for other regional languages as well. The messenger had launched the News feature last month where it would aggregate stories from leading English dailies.
Hike claims that its English News feature is getting 1.5 million daily users who view about 100 million stories per week. The Hindi News will have content available in ‘bite’ size feeds across sports, entertainment, politics, technology and many more categories.
The News feature gives users bite sized updates in 100 words and has three options: Category, Full story and a forward button. Clicking on full story opens the news website’s story within the Hike app (similar to what Facebook and Twitter does). Clicking on category pops up a menu which displays tags like top stories, India, world, sports, technology, business, lifestyle etc. On selecting the category, users are shown news from that topic’s tag. Users can keep on reading and up-swiping the read stories.
In January, the company claimed to have crossed 35 million registered users worldwide, out of which over 50% active were every month. Around 90% of its users were from India and below the age of 25 years.
File transfers, group chat and sticker suggestions
Hike has been busy trying to “localize” the application to the Indian context and has launched a number of features which include sticker suggestions from a catalog of over 5,000 stickers, group chat for up to 500 people, including the ability to set multiple admins in group chats, file transfers of up to 100MB for documents like ZIP, PDF and other kinds of files, photo filters and doodling.
Free group calling
Earlier this month, Hike introduced free group calling on hike connecting up to 100 people in a call. The addition will allow users to make free group calls with the press of a single button once inside a group chat. This feature is available on Android and is expected to roll out on iOS, Windows later this year. Earlier in January, Hike had acquired the VoIP startup Zip Phone. The company had said then that voice calling was one of the top requested features by its users.
Hoppr and Tiny Mogul Games integration
Earlier in August, the Bharti Softbank backed company integrated Hoppr and Tiny Mogul Games (TMG) under its brand name. The company mentioned that it would also integrate games from Tiny Mogul, like Shiva: the time bender, into its own app, as well as add coupons from nearly 200 brands on Hike.