India's Hike Messenger is fastly becoming a rival for app giant WhatsApp. Its valuation is set around $1.4 billion, joining the Unicorn club. Started in December 2012, Hike Messenger was founded by Kavin Mittal, son of Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises.
Cross-platform mobile messaging app WhatsApp is no doubt massively popular. This is all credited to its ability of sending messages without having to pay SMS. WhatsApp announced it has more than a billion of monthly active users worldwide and is even embraced by immigrants. At 16 percent, the largest portion of WhatsApp users came from India with about 160 million users. Its recent update to include video calling is a huge step forward for the developers.
However, India's home-grown messaging app, boasted a user base of over 100 million in January, with over 40 billion messages exchanged every month. Interestingly, 95 percent of its users is from India with Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Ahmedabad as its primary cities.
In related news, Hike Messenger has recently declared the launch of a new feature called Video Stories. This allows Hike users to share videos of up to 20 seconds. Users can even spice up their captured moments with the use of Live Filters and Stickers. Hike released festive animated sticker packs which include a female Santa, cute Elf and Christmas tree, Rudolf the Reindeer and Snowman. Traditional packs were also included like Hikin, Penguin, and Dance which were released on the night of wedding season in some areas in India. The video and photo stories on Hike will disappear after 24 hours and can be posted on Hike Stories. Users are also allowed to share them directly with friends.
According to Hike during a press meet, the live filters allow expressing things more dramatic. The live filters in the app work by automatically detecting and recognizing the faces to help people to have more fun while storytelling.