The #1 App of India

Yesterday we hit #1 on Android and iOS app stores and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve displaced tons of other popular apps, including the world’s biggest messaging apps – WhatsApp, social networks – Facebook and games – Candy Crush Saga. We’re now the fastest growing mobile app in India amongst the entire lot, adding more than 300k hikers every day.

We built hike with India in mind and we’re so glad to see so many of you moving onto hike, India’s own messaging app and bringing your friends on board. Don’t stop there, we need more. Much more. It’s a long road ahead. Keep hiking. :)

20 Million Hikers

20M Users!

Under the scorching heat wave of New Delhi, India (its 46C out here), we’ve been up to some hot news ourselves.

At the end of Feb’ 2014, we announced 15M users going from 5M to 15M in 9 months. Today, we’re super excited to announce that we’ve crossed the 20M mark. We’ve added another 5M in just 3 short months! Our growth rate has close to doubled in the last few months.

We’ve spent a ton of time looking closely at the market; what Indians need and observing how they use hike. We believe we now understand, what Indian users expect in an awesome messaging app; things no one has been able to give to them yet, and we are working towards that.

We wouldn’t have been able to nip the problems in the bud, had it not been for your feedback and reviews. Thanks a lot for them and keep them coming.

Hidden Mode

Today, we’re also excited to announce ‘Hidden Mode’ in hike. You can now hide your private chats, such that no one even knows they’re hidden, and access them only with the right password. Everyone we’ve shown it to, seems to love it.

Give it a go, it’s awesome. We won’t tell anyone ;)

In a country like India, where teenagers stay with their parents and families; where their need for privacy is constantly challenged; we believe this feature could be a boon for all our users, because some chats are for your eyes only :)

We’d love for you to give the new version of hike a spin - http://get.hike.in/

Also, a very big thanks to you, for being a part of our journey to 20M!

Hike for BB10 is here

Today, we’re announcing the launch of hike for BB10! We know we’re a little late to give this news to you. But we’re hopeful you’ll give our app a spin and would explore some of the unique features we’re offering.

You can now hike from BlackBerry Q10, BlackBerry Q5BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Z3, BlackBerry Z30 and Porsche Design P9982.

Get hike for BB10 and enjoy the following features:

★ PRIVACY: With hike messenger say goodbye to stalkers! From your milk-man to your aunts to that creepy guy in college; you don’t want them to be seeing your last-seen and profile pictures, do you? Switch to hike and take charge of your privacy! Choose who sees your Last Seen time stamp and Status Updates!

★ STICKERS: Now send some amazing stickers on hike. Express yourself in a whole new way!

★ CHAT THEMES: Everyone has backgrounds. We have 2-way themes! When you change the chat theme, it changes for your friends too! Let’s add more character to messaging, shall we?

★ DOCUMENT SHARING: Now don’t run to send emails or transfer files over SD Cards. On hike, share any type of file, from Docs, PPTs, PDFs, to MP3s . Share up to a 100 MB file each! Say goodbye to emails, already!

★ HIKE OFFLINE: Unable to message friends because they’re not online? Don’t worry! Hike does the hard work to figure out if your friends are offline and then sends them your messages as an SMS, at no cost to you. When they reply, you get the message in hike!

★ FREE HIKE2SMS TO INDIA: We’ve also built in FREE hike to non-hike SMS. So if your friends aren’t on hike you can still message them. And better yet, for free! Free SMS can only be sent to India.

★ EASY FORWARDING: We’ve redesigned how you forward messages & media to your friends. It’s faster, smarter and has a whole new look! Easily select and share up to 15 files at once.

★ SHARING IS EASY: You can share photos, videos, location, contacts, walkie-talkie messages and much more on hike! Create group chats or chat one-on-one!

★ FAST, SIMPLE, PERSONAL, FREE: hike is super fast. With sent, delivered, read and typing notifications, it feels like you’re having a chat with someone in person. The app uses your 2G, 3G or Wi-Fi (when available) to message with friends and family.

★ 128-bit SSL ENCRYPTION: Messages on hike messenger are now encrypted over Wi-Fi

Download the app - http://bit.ly/hike-bb10

 

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.