Close on the heels of the WhatsApp acquisition, India’s very own messaging app, Hike messenger, has announced that it has crossed the 15 million user mark, tripling its user base within 9 months.
Kavin Bharti Mittal, Creator of Hike messenger, said, “We are seeing a strong traction for Hike amongst the youth and over 80% of our user base is under 25.” This doesn’t come as a surprise in a country where 63% of app consumption is among the 15 to 24 age group.
With over 900 million mobile users and over 150 million mobile Internet consumers, India is the second largest mobile market after China. Apps and solutions catering to this mobile first market present a huge market for growth. Hike is singularly concentrating on India and will continue to deep dive in this market.
Building engagement with young India seems to be the focus area for Hike. Some of the features that seem to be finding a favour with the local market are –
- ‘Hike Offline’ is an India-centric feature that lets users send free messages to their friends who are offline. With a number of users in India hopping in and out of wi-fi and data networks, this feature intends to keep messaging seamless
- ‘Last Seen Privacy’ where one can choose to share their ‘Last Seen’ and ‘Status Updates’ with a chosen set of friends, while continuing to message others and even those that don’t have a smartphone or data connection
- Localized sticker packs such as ‘Things Indians Say’ and a playful Bollywood pack
In another industry-first innovation, the company has introduced 2-way Chat Themes, allowing users to change the chat background for themselves and their friends, adding a whole lot more context to conversations.
Hike represents the rise of products made in India for the Indian market. Yesterday, we had shared with you the story of Newshunt, which is another Indian app disrupting the regional content market. This seems to be a testament to the fact that India is maturing as a mobile-first product market given the huge mobile penetration.
Hike stands out from its competitions by not using the conventional mode of advertising to acquire customers. It has relied heavily on word of mouth, referrals and most definitely localisation of features and services for the Indian market