Introducing Bigger and Better Attachments

One of the biggest requests we received from our users was the ability to send any kind of files to friends on their smartphones. When we dug deeper, it was obvious. In a mobile first market like India for most people, a mobile device is a primary mode of communication and the things that most of us imagine doing on a PC, well all that is happening on a smartphone in India. This really speaks to the behaviour of the market.

So today we’re taking hike to the next level by introducing bigger and better attachments. You asked for it and now we’ve delivered. Sending files just got even more awesome.

Here’s whats new with :

  • Multiple-Select: Send up to 20 files together.
  • Big Files (100MB): Send files up to a 100MB each. Now that’s what you call big.
  • DOCs, PDFs, PPTs, MP3s: Send all kind of files including docs, MP3s, pdfs, ppts and much more!
We’ve also worked on polishing off some smaller things in the app.

1. Sent, Delivered, Read indicators:
We’ve updated the Sent, Delivered, Read indicators. We’ve now changed Sent, Delivered, Read to Tick, Double Tick, Double Tick R.

✓ = Sent, ✓✓ = Delivered, ✓✓R = Read

Why? Its simple. Symbols are scalable across languages. They also have less cognitive load on the eye and thus are easier to digest. The whole experience feels a lot faster as a result as well.

2. Forward Multiple Messages:
We’ve also added to ability to forward and delete multiple messages. Just tap and hold a message in a chat and voila!

You can download the latest version of hike for Android here - http://bit.ly/QpTXPQ

This is the first of many awesome updates that we’re working on. Stay tuned!

 

Introducing Unlimited Free SMS on hike!

When we launched hike, one of our goals was to connect you with all your friends, whether or not they had a smartphone or an internet data connection. To enable this, we went beyond what any messaging app had done, and gave you free SMS to message even those who weren’t on hike (or were temporarily unavailable; as is the case in bad data network areas).

We’ve seen this feature become very popular, and unlike other apps, on hike you can chat for free with anyone, whether they own the latest iPhone with 3G or even a Nokia 3310 with, well… no internet. It’s perfect for a market like India, where more than 80% of all mobile users don’t even have a smartphone with internet.

We’ve also received a lot of feedback to increase the amount of free SMS we offered, but given that there is a cost to the free SMS and the fact that we’re a startup, we could’t make it truly unlimited. We also feared that if we made it completely unlimited, it could lead to a lot of people misusing it for spam.

So we’ve been brainstorming for the last couple months to find a way to do this right, in a way which would enable our best users to use more SMS while limiting usage by bad users and prevent them from spamming other people.

Introducing Unlimited Free SMS

Starting today, instead of giving you a fixed SMS balance every month we’re going to tie your SMS balance to the amount you chat on hike. The more you chat, the more SMS you get! It’s that simple. Sky’s the limit.

SMS on hike is now truly free, and unlimited. If you keep messaging your friends on hike, you can now potentially earn unlimited free SMS (to message those who aren’t). If you’ve been an active hiker, you will see an instant bump in your free SMS count. Cheers! We love you too. :)

In short:

  1. The more you hike, the more SMS you get. You need to keep sending and receiving messages on hike to earn Free SMS.
  2. There is no limit to the amount of free SMS you can earn :)
  3. You can still get a quick one-time bump of 50 free SMS on a successful invite
  4. As a small gift, when you join hike, you’ll get 20 free SMS to start chatting with your friends right away!
  5. Finally, your free SMS balance will expire if you’re inactive for more than 30 days.

$14M to make hike even more awesome!

We’re super excited to announce a new round of funding of $14M from BSB to further fuel the fast-paced growth we’ve seen over the last year!

We’ve gone 5M to 15M in just 9 months and over 80% of the app’s users are under the age of 25 and majority of its users are from India.

Our goal with the new round of funding is to double down on growth, further expand our team, hiring the best talent so we can topple the year we just had. We want to exit 2014 as the #1 messaging platform for the youth.

We’re building a lot of amazing stuff that we can’t wait to share with you. Stay tuned!

hike is available globally on iOSAndroidBlackberryWPS40 and S60.

Made for the youth | By the youth

Introducing hike direct cash transfers!

Our goal has always been to connect people across boundaries; close friends, families in a simple way without any complexities or restrictions. With technology we believe we can enable people to live their lives and connect with others far easier than before. As a result, we’ve always strived to push the envelope and have tried to take messaging one-step further by doing things that no one would imagine doing. We’ve been asking ourselves a simple question – How else could we connect people better and make their everyday lives 10x simpler, better? Today, we’re going to take a massive leap in that direction.

We’re introducing hike Direct Cash Payments!

With hike direct cash payments, you can now send money to your friends on hike. The best part? It’s as simple as sending a photo. Literally speaking. Here’s how it works:

Upload cash by taking a pic!

Uploading cash online has always been a pain in the but. Given that most people in India don’t have a debit/credit card or netbanking access, we wanted to make it super simple for people to upload cash into their wallets. We spent minutes making it super easy for our users to do exactly that. You can just take a pic of your cash and upload it to your account or better yet send it to a friend. We’ll automatically detect the amount of cash and transfer it in under a micro-second. (Note: Do ensure that you don’t use the note after that. That’d be illegal).

Just start a Chat > Attach > Money.

Alternatively, just go to Rewards > Hike Cash Transfers > Add Money

For more details, check out our FAQs: http://hike.in/hikecoins/

The HikeCoin Infrastructure: Private, Secure, Awesome!

To ensure that your cash remains secure and private, and that the NSA can’t snoop into your account, we’ve modeled hikecoins after bitcoins, while removing all the issues that plagued it. While it uses a similar distributed blockchain infrastructure, it has none of the problems that bitcoin has. We act as the currency exchange (we won’t go down like Mt. Gox does) and instead of mining bitcoins, to earn free hikecoins, all you need to do is use hike with your friends. Isn’t that super awesome?

We’ll be rolling it out slowly to all our users. You can check out a beta preview of hike cash transfers from your mobile phone if you have hike installed!

Give it a spin! We’d love to hear what you think!

Update: We had to close down the service because of some technology challenges due to the huge demand overloading over servers, but mainly due to the fact that it was a joke.

April Fools’!

Google Loves Hike!

 

Hike is a featured app in the Play Store. And not just on any list, it is on the Play Picks list!

We launched hike on 12th December 2012 and crossed 15M users in just 14 short months! Being the only Instant Messenger being built in India, we had an uphill task to be loved by our users and also by awesome companies like Google :)

Nothing could’ve prepared us for the first onslaught of enthusiastic users, installing, rating, and reviewing our app! We’re thrilled about having on board a lot of new users! We hope you love it!

We love what Distimo wrote about us - bit.ly/N1mC0d

Bring it on!