Hike may be pivoting from its core messaging app to other social products — invite-only network (VibeByHike) and real-money gaming (RushByHike) — but it is not entirely giving up its most popular feature yet.
Stickers, which helped Hike stand out among other messaging platforms, has relaunched as a free app on Google Play Store.The app offers Hike's 2,000+ trending stickers now available for use on WhatsApp and Telegram. StickerByHike has already notched up 50,000 downloads, and is rated 4.3 out of 5.
The homegrown unicorn claims that StickersByHike is the largest collection of Indian regional stickers, and is aimed at making "your conversations more fun".
"When words are not enough to express your feelings, say it with stickers! We have stickers for every mood: cricket, Bollywood, movies, love, friendship and more. You say it, we have it. So let stickers do the talking for you from now on," as per the app listing.The first version of StickerByHike was released on December 18, and a second update rolled out on December 31.
Following this, Hike Founder-CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal announced on Twitter that Hike would be "sunsetting" its messaging product StickerChat.
He, however, added that all of Hike's new innovations have been built on the "launchpad" provided by StickerChat over the years.
Hike's pivot to "virtual world" products Rush and Vibe (earlier HikeLand) coincides with the staggering growth in online real-money gaming and the new-found mania over invite-only (or "approval-only") platforms and communities ala Clubhouse.Over 100,000 users have joined Vibe's waiting list, Mittal revealed. "With Vibe, we continue to build a magical and safe place online where people can be themselves, and make new friends," he said.
"With over 300K [sic] conversations per month happening between new people on HikeLand, we've quickly learnt that the quality of the community is very important," the Hike founder added.
The preview version of HikeLand (now Vibe) had recorded more than 10 million installs on Google Play Store, and was one of the top apps in the ‘Social’ category.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta