Hike Messenger has updated its app with a Snapchat like feature called ‘stories’ where updates delete themselves 48 hours after posting, and an in-built camera with live filters. The new features will roll out to both Android and iOS users this week. The company mentions that it will also launch a feature for video recording in the coming weeks.
Stories replaces the feature called Timeline on Hike, where users could post pictures and statuses that could be liked by their friends. The new feature removes the permanence of these posts, instead deleting them in 2 days. These posts can only be viewed by friends. The user posting the story can see which and how many people viewed their post.
If a small startup replicates a putative competitor’s feature, it is “copying” but if a billion-dollar startup does so, it is “inspired” https://t.co/HfHFsM9qSC
— Sumanth Raghavendra (@sumanthr) November 17, 2016
The camera is a new addition to the messenger and lets users add various custom overlays like a mustache, that can either be shared with friends or as a ‘story’. These filters are live as in they follow the user’s face as they move about, removing the need to make edits later. The company mentions that it will continue to add new filters every week, which will also work with the video recording it plans to add later on.
As competition in the messaging space intensifies, Hike has been working on adding various new features to its app to add value to its users. Last month, the company launched video calling for Android users, nearly a month before WhatsApp. It also added audio group calling with up to 100 people, and started aggregating Hindi news stories a month after it started aggregating English News stories. Other than this, Hike had introduced Hike Direct which allowed users to send messages off grid and a feature called ‘Car Match’ for users to share rides.
Hike claims to have 100 million users, of which 95% are in India. WhatsApp, with 900 monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide, is second to Facebook’s Messenger in number of users. Facebook claims Messenger to have over 1 billion MAUs.