Hike is the indianized version of messaging made easy. With mobile platforms already having tons of them in the market, the application might face some tough competition. Especially with its Big Daddy WhatsApp registering more than 100 million download on Google Play, Hike has a long way to go. The application has started on a positive note and boasts of more than 100,000 downloads on Android, which is a decent success for an app that has been launched recently. The application has been rolled out to App store and Windows Marketplace and will be shortly out for Nokia and Blackberry services.
So what is the USP of this application that can make it stand out? The app is Indian and targeted towards Indian consumers primarily.With the mobile growth in India growing multi folds year over year, the application has great potential market to explore.
With WhatsApp requiring users to install WhatsApp to talk each other and share, Hike takes the barrier out and allows you to message people who have not even installed the app. This makes sure your friends with phones from the pre-smartphone era stay connected. The application allows you to send free SMS (minimum 100 per month) to your friends and have group chats with them.You can also share photos and videos with your friends and stay connected.
The application has a clean-looking interface with smooth transition effects in place. The design is pleasant to the eye with light colors and minimalistic features.
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The main crowd puller for this app would be the non compulsion of users to install the app for a two-way communication and leveraging SMS as a way of communication. With India still heavily relying on SMSs to communicate, the move for now can be a step ahead. But with changing scenarios day by day and more smartphone penetration, SMS market is facing some tough challenges ahead.
The Group chat features allows a maximum of 20 people to join and converse with multiple sharing options.The emoticons used are also refreshing and fun to use. Integrating your social profiles (Twitter & Facebook) helps you gain 100 SMS more for free.
However, with Indian market being its primary focus, it could have made the app available in different Indian languages. With an Indian twist to the emoticons, the consumers would be more propelled to use the application to have a casual chat with their friends.
With the smartphone public moving to the WhatsApp era, the application will have to come up with unique features to stand out for the Indian masses. The app does not stand out and make me stick to it for long. WhatsApp, as of now, does offer a lot more options like ‘Status’ and Customization of profiles which adds that extra point to it.
What do you think about Hike? Will you use the application or the good old WhatsApp works for you?