Post acquiring the US-based voice-calling company Zip Phone, It was just a matter of time that the Indian origin messaging service Hike introduced the voice-calling feature in it’s main app.
If rumors are to be believed, Hike’s voice-calling feature is coming up in a few days. It’s important to note that the company will have to pay special attention to the users on 2G data plans, since providing a glitch free voice-calling service on such a slow network
can be will be an uphill task .
Given the fact that Hike has originated in India (where 2G users are still more prominent than 3G or Wi-Fi users), the voice calling feature will be data efficient so that users’ data connection bills don’t shoot up inexplicably. If Hike can provide that good a service, it surely will have an edge over it’s competitors (which are numerous). The update however is expected to roll out globally.
The introduction of the voice-calling app in messengers isn’t a rumour anymore. Whatsapp’s voice-calling feature was to be rolled out in 2014 if the sources were right. Providing a seamless voice-calling experience in areas where the Internet connectivity is poor or only 2G speeds are available is what may have hauled up whatsapp’s voice-calling update’s release last year.
However, a designer created what he thought WhatsApp voice-calling could look like. The images showed that the chatting and the voice call features will appear on different screens in the main app. Call logs, dialling, contacts and a playback feature were also seen on the leaked images. There are rumors that whatsapp may include a ‘Call via Skype’ feature in it’s update (may be something worthy to wait for).
Hike has done a good job in retaining users, despite pressure from WhatsApp and other Chinese/Japanese IM apps. Hike has managed to grab over 35 million users since it was launched in December 2012. It recently raised a $65 Million round led by Tiger Global, with participation from previous investors.
India has almost a 100 million active mobile Internet users and that number is growing rapidly every year. That’s the market, which we’re building for. The rate at which hike messenger has grown in the last 18 months is phenomenal and is a strong testament of the right direction in which the product is steering.
Hike messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said after the Indian app had achieved the 20 million mark.
Hike has proved to be a worthy competitor in India but there’s no denying that with Whatsapp’s 700 million user base, Hike has a lot of ground to cover globally.
WeChat, Viber, Line and SnapChat provide instant messaging in the Indian market and Viber and Line already have the voice-calling feature. When pitted against such apps, Hike has to be exceptional to stand out.