Hike messenger is not just another chat app…

According to a study by Ericsson, 47% of the time is spent on communication applications on Android smartphone by users in India. The communication applications are not just growing phenomenally, but they have also become an household name. Rarely you are asked to mail the photos or send an SMS. You are just asked to whatsapp it across. I have seen whatsapp numbers with whatsapp icon on commercial boards. Indian railway and many government services are also using such apps to accept complaints and reply to queries. Whatsapp has spread it tentacles widely and thickly and it is really difficult for any other app to enter into this domain. Recently I wanted to try the new JIO chat by Reliance. I installed it and in-order to use it  I needed to convince a few of my contacts to install it as well. That is a difficult task. When anyone has an application for a task, they need a compelling reason to try out alternatives, especially when there is nothing wrong with it. The reason for the success of whatsapp is its simplicity. It has got minimal features which are just right for most use cases.

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A few days ago, I tried out the Hike messenger. The Hike messenger is similar to whatsapp in many ways. It offers all the functions in a whatsapp messenger and a few more. Out of my 800 contacts only 70 were using Hike. But in general it seems that Hike messenger has over 35 million users registered.  Hike messenger is primarily targeted at the young audience between 18 and 35 years. Hike messenger has a bunch of features that promise better privacy. Private chats, last seen status and few more such features are primarily targeted at the teen audience, who may need to keep certain matters away from parents or teachers. Also in Hike messenger, groups can have upto 500 members. It also has broadcast message where you can send out messages to a whole bunch of folks and don’t need to create a group for it. Frankly all the above mentioned features are annoying to me personally. Being a father of 2 kids, I would always want to keep my eyes on my kids and such apps are not helping. I feel annoyed with all the chaotic conversation in any whatsapp group. Now imagine 500 people in a group and that couldn’t get chaotic than that. Broadcast makes sense, but it could be a tool for the spammers. But it is just me and my personal opinion there. Most people would want such features.

Usage of  top 5 apps in the voice calling and instant messaging app categories at least once a month Source: Ericsson ConsumerLab, Communication in the world of apps, 2015

Usage of top 5 apps
in the voice calling and instant messaging app categories
at least once a month
Source: Ericsson ConsumerLab, Communication in the world of apps, 2015

But the best feature which I loved in the hike messenger was its ability to transfer any type of file. It can transfer files up to 100 mb. Also, I loved stickers. Emoticons are good, but it is limiting. Stickers are interesting and in future, if meme generation was also possible, Hike messenger would be super fun to use. Also it was really nice to have the ability to send messages via SMS (20 free in a day) to people who are not connected to net at the moment. Their replies can be sent as SMS and you would receive them in your Hike inbox. There are also a sensible privacy features which give the messenger the ability to show your profile picture and status only to a selected few.

I don’t see Hike messenger as a serious tool for communication. But it is a fun app to use. It is very simple to set up and get started and all you need is a bunch of people willing to move away from Whatsapp. Hike messenger is available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone users.

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