The curious case of Hike messenger (“do people really use it?”)

“Who uses Hike” is the most frequently asked question by several founders when it comes to discussing Hike messenger’s data/growth.
In the early days, Hike did growth hack using ‘free SMS’ feature, but here are some data points on Hike’s download/engagement that are quite interesting.

Hike : Download data.

Hike App's download data
Hike App’s download data
Hike recorded 1.8 mn downloads in Jan, 1.3 million in Feb and 1.6 mn in March.

Hike’s MAU

Hike App's MAU data
Hike App’s MAU data

What about user sessions?

Month Avg Session/User Avg Session Duration Avg Time/User
Jan 253 1 min 4 hr 26 min
Feb 242 1 min 4 hr 2 min
Mar 251 1.1 min 4 hr 16 min

What makes hike tick? Sure – a lot of people downloaded it for free SMS service, but clearly the product has a hook for frequent usage.
Is it driven by some of the clever features like file sharing, secret chats?
What if Hike launches payment (P2P) service before WhatsApp does it in India?
Data source: appannie.

#BigDeal : Hike Raises Funding From Founders Of Quora, WordPress And Other Silicon Valley Veterans

Hike Messenger, India’s only homegrown messaging app, has announced that some of the world’s top notch tech veterans have invested in the company in their personal capacities and are playing advisors to it.Hike

These top veterans include:

  • Adam D’Angelo, Founder and CEO, Quora. Adam previously served as Chief Technology Officer at Facebook, where he oversaw new product development and managed the engineering team. In addition, he guided the site’s architecture and infrastructure and started the company’s growth team. Prior to serving as CTO, Adam led the Facebook Platform team and, as an engineer, built the initial infrastructure for news feed and the first generation of the company’s advertising targeting and delivery systems. He has invested personally in Instagram, Nextdoor, Asana and Wealthfront.
  • Aditya Agarwal, Vice President Engineering, Dropbox. Aditya came to Dropbox via the acquisition of Cove, a company he co-founded that was focused on improving group collaboration and communication. Prior to Cove, Aditya was the Director of Product Engineering at Facebook where he oversaw the development of core products such as News Feed, Search, Photos, Profile and Applications. Aditya was one of the first engineers at Facebook. He is also on the board of Flipkart.
  • Ruchi Sanghvi was the Vice President, Operations, Dropbox, where she was responsible for product, recruiting, marketing, communications, and other functions. She came to Dropbox through its acquisition of Cove, a collaboration software company she founded in 2011. Prior to that Ruchi was the first female engineer at Facebook, and was instrumental in implementing the first versions of key features such as News Feed.
  • Matt Mullenweg, Founder and CEO of Automattic Inc. and Co-Founder of WordPress. As an online social media entrepreneur, Matt gives back to the startup community through his angel investment firm Audrey capital, which has backed over 100 companies since 2008, many of which have been acquired.

Matt Mullenweg, Founder and CEO of Automattic Inc. and Co-Founder of WordPress: “As an online social media entrepreneur myself, I have keenly observed India. I believe in Hike Messenger’s vision and I can see the team gearing up and are well positioned for aggressive growth in the country.”

hike claims 70 million users and transacting over 30 billion messages per month.

Hike Claims Over 30 Billion Messages Per Month, Up By 50% In 3 Months

Hike messenger, today announced that its users are exchanging over 1 billion messages per day, amounting to over 30 billion messages per month.

The numbers have grown by 50% in a span of just 3 months, since the company’s previous announcement of 20 billion message exchanges in August this year. The upsurge in messaging volume was observed after the launchHike-data of latest version of hike 4.0.

The company recently crossed 70 million users in October this year; on an average a user spends also over 140 minutes per week on hike messenger, said hike in a statement.

Hike had introduced several updates with the roll-out of their new update—automatic sticker suggestions, hike direct, which allows users to chat and share files without the internet, 500 member group chat with multi-admins, free group calling with up to 100 people, news in English and Hindi, coupons from over 100 brands and special photo filters and doodles.

 “We’re now doing over a billion messages per day. That’s no small feat. We got there quicker than we expected. It’s incredible how well hike 4.0 is doing. The year still isn’t over and there’s a lot still more to come. Stay tuned,” said Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder & CEO hike messenger.

Hike Now Lets You Chat Without Internet

Hike has introduced new features in its updated version. One key feature is Hike Direct, which allows users to chat, exchange stickers, transfer photos and heavy files of any type,  without Internet and without incurring data charges but only within 100 meter radius.

Hike Direct allows mobile phones to connect with one another directly within a 100 meter radius completely by passing the telecom networks. Users can then chat and share files directly up to a speed of 40Mbps with very low latency.

Kavin Mittal, Founder & CEO hike messenger added “Today is the day we completely redefine messaging. Hike Direct has been built on breakthrough technology that adds a whole new dimension to messaging enabling hikers to chat and share files with their friends without the internet and without incurring any data charges. One can get speeds up to 40 Mbit/sec when chatting and sharing files through hike direct. Data or no data, hike will always work. It’s incredibly powerful.”

Android users can get this feature by upgrading to the latest version of hike, version 4.0.6 and above. Hike Direct on iOS, Windows to follow next year.

The company also announced that it crossed 70 million users last month with 20 billion messages being exchanged per month making it by far the 2nd largest messaging app in the country. An average user on hike spends over 140 minutes per week on the application.

Hike Announces Group Calling Feature That Connects up to 100 People

Hike today announced the launch of its free group calling feature that can connect up to 100 people in a call. Users can avail this feature by upgrading to the latest version of hike.

With the introduction of group calling, hike has officially dropped the beta tag on VOIP. Currently, the feature is extended only for Android users and is expected to roll out on iOS and Windows later this year.

Users need to simply tap on the Hike Call button existing in group chat. Once initiated, hike calls out to every member in the group automatically and the call starts as soon as one person gets connected.

Hike has a strong pipeline of new features planned for release and users can expect at least one new feature every month.

Hike 4.0 adds 5000 more stickers along with real time suggestions

Hike has just announced more than 5000 ‘free stickers’ in over 30 languages to make messaging a fun visual experience, making it the largest repository of local Indian stickers amongst any messaging app.

The update featured in Hike 4.0 will recommend the perfect sticker for every moment based on what the users type. The sticker packs has colloquial expressions, playful slangs, movie dialogues, popular expressions used in social occasions, greetings, wishes and much more emotions.

Furthermore, hike has optimized the feature to support 2G– making it data efficient, an attractive proposition for consumers across the country.

“Messaging is undergoing a profound transformation…. Stickers are a big hit with users and it’s becoming clear that it’s hard to go back to simple text once you’ve witnessed the deep emotion offered by stickers,” says  Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike Messenger.

Hike Crosses 20bn Monthly Messages Threshold; Introduces News

Instant messaging app maker Hike has announced the launch of the Hike 4.0 update which it claims to be 5x faster than the previous version of the software.

The company also used the occasion to announce that it has crossed the 20 billion messages per month threshold, claiming to grow by 100% in less than 1 year.

The Hike 4.0 update has been optimised to run on low-end smartphones and particularly poor network conditions, perfect to reach entry-level users in India.

Users will now be able to transfer any type of file up to 100MB in size through Hike. The app also gets photo filters and doodles, basically more social features.

Apart from this, Hike has also introduced News, which as its name suggests is a service that pushes bite-sized news to users in less than 100 characters. Within 24 hours of its launch, Hike claims its News service has 1 million users.

Last August Hike had announced that it was registering 10 billion messages monthly. The company has doubled the number of messages sent on its platform in less than one year.

With the app now being lighter and more suited for low-end devices, the company hopes to aggressively onboard new users.