Hike is an interesting messaging app originating from India. It was founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal and released in 2012. Just within two years, Hike gained 15 M active users and another six months later their number grew to 35 M users.
Hike promotes itself as a messaging guide around the Internet. Why so? The app so far remains focused on India’s home market, where most people are only beginning to get acquainted with the Web.
Our Hike review will guide you through the messaging app’s functionalities and explain why it has become so popular.
- Hike runs on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Nokia, and Symbian.
- To sign up, you need to enter your phone number and then a four-digit code. After that, you indicate your name and upload a profile photo (optional). Those who are lazy to do that can sign in via Facebook.
- The list of your contacts will be transferred automatically. However, if any of your friends does not have Hike, the messenger will automatically suggest that you send them invitations to join in. A user will see all his contacts and will be able to tick those who the invitations will be sent to. A user of the app can also mark his favourite contacts as Favourites.
- As in a lot of other messaging apps, people in Hike communicate by sending each other text messages. You can add up to 500 people to a group chat.
- There is a funny option in chats called “Nudge”. This is somewhat similar to “poking” in Facebook. You can send it by double tapping the chat box, making your recipient receive a notification about being ‘”nudged”.
- Users can see the status of the messages they had sent: sent, delivered, read. A trifle but a useful one.
- Hike has made a sensation when it implemented an updated version with the voice-calling feature in January 2015, since it happened before WhatsApp did the same. The voice-calling feature is available in over 200 countries.
- You can also send voice messages in Hike.
- Hike does not allow calling mobile operator numbers but for some countries the messaging app left free SMS. Once a user has registered, he has from 20 to 100 of them (depending on the country of registration); you can earn more if you invite your friends to download and install the messaging app. The developers even came up with a slogan “Hike to SMS!” This will always let you stay on the air, even when you are offline, or when you run out of traffic.
- Very useful is a files sharing function of Hike. Messenger allows you to send files of .doc .zip .pdf .mp3 .avi formats up to 100 MB. This function works as in the individual chats as well as in group.
- Hike also contains a very useful feature of sharing photos/videos, which a user can upload from the phone’s gallery or take/record in real time.
- The settings of notifications are multifaceted. A Hike user can set push-notifications, enable/disable sound notifications or vibration of notifications about incoming messages or when a new friend is added; he can choose a message preview; he can also set the screen to be blocked without exiting the app.
- The Hidden Mode feature is a standout. This mode allows you to set a password to a specific chat. To enable the option, a user has to tap on the chat in the list of chats and afterwards tap the HI logo in the top right-hand corner. A pop-up field will then appear to type in the password.
- In the privacy settings, a user can change the visibility of his status online and the visibility of his profile photo and make them visible to his friends only.
- Security has been taken care of. The app uses an SSL protocol. This allows users to exchange information only via Wi-Fi without fixing it on Hike servers.
- The app is designed in a nice and simple way. If you are a person who wants to stand out from the crowd, the developers have made an option to change the background of the whole app and choose a theme for a chat (it will also change on the phone of your chat partner) for you.
- In group chats you will be able to change your profile photo.
- We cannot but mention Hike’s stickers. There were a lot of them, but apparently not enough, since the messaging company decided to run a sticker contest. The goal of it was to find talented designers and please users with new characters.
- Hike also allows for location sharing.
Events around the messaging app:
The app belongs to Bharti Enterprises and Softbank. Bharti Enterprises is a company owned by Kavin’s father and Softbank is a financial institution with headquarters based in Japan. It was them who first invested in the app $7 M in 2012 and then $14 M in 2014.