Hike Messenger has rolled out video calling to its Android users and expects to extend this to iOS users
next week in the near future. Hike had apparently rolled out video calling as a beta last month to 100,000 users and says that video calling will work even in low network conditions including 2G networks.
Hike will also offer a ‘live caller preview’ of the user who’s calling before the other user can answer the call. Note that in January this year, Hike claimed that it crossed 100 million users and of which 95% are India based, and 90% are below 30 years of age. Hike users, according to the company, spend 120 minutes on the app and exchange 40 billion messages monthly.
In August, Hike raised $175 million from China’s Tencent and Foxconn in a series D round of funding which valued it at $1.4 billion. With this, Hike has raised over $261 million in funding. Earlier in the year, the company raised an undisclosed amount of funding from multiple investors.
Features on Hike
– As of now, Hike also offers audio calling for groups of up to 100 people, which was introduced in September last year. In the same month, it also started aggregating Hindi news stories. The company had launched News a month before that where it would aggregate stories from leading English dailies.
– Last October, Hike introduced Hike Direct which allowed users to send messages off grid, i.e. without the use of telecom networks or an active Internet connection within a 100 meter radius.
– Free voice calls on Android.
– Hike also launched a feature called ‘Car Match’, allowing Hike users match, connect, chat and share rides
– In December 2015, it launched the messaging app in 8 Indic languages: Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu.
WhatsApp claims to have 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs) globally. Jan Koum, cofounder and CEO of WhatsApp said that 42 billion messages were sent, along with 1.6 billion photos and 250 million videos every day. WhatsApp also has 1 billion groups on it. The company claims to have over 70 million active users in India. Facebook’s standalone Messenger app had crossed 800 million active monthly users in January. Interestingly, Tencent also owns messaging app WeChat and was launched in India in 2012. In April, WeChat reported 700 million active users.
*Edit: We’ve updated the headline and the article to reflect that video calling will be rolled out to iOS later, Hike does not mention the timeline.