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Now hike copies Snapchat to introduce Stories, and face masks to its messaging app

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In this rapidly growing internet age, Snapchat is one of the most popular apps which has been able to grab millennial attention. Ever since, its most prominent features including ephemeral stories, live face masks, and filters have largely been a source of inspiration for most social networks, especially Facebook. But, Indian messaging client hike is also joining the league with the release of its own version of Snapchat’s Stories and face masks.

The two new features which have been introduced to hike with today’s update have largely been inspired from Snapchat. The company has introduced Stories, which enables the user to share the happening moments of his day with help of photos(and no videos!?) These stories uploaded by your friends appear in a line – similar to Instagram Stories – at the top of chats. hike instead of limiting the vanishing time of these photos to 24 hours has extended to 48 hours i.e 2 days. The reason behind the same being:

There’s something quite nice about 48 hours. It’s the length of the weekend. Most social apps including Hike peak on the weekend and we thought it would be nice to be able to share Stories throughout the weekend and open your phone on a Sunday night and see how much fun you had over the last few days.

The new Stories feature will be replacing the Facebook-like timeline section which enabled users to share statuses and photos with their network of friends on the app. Instead of clamoring for likes on your posts in the timeline, you’d now only be able to know who all viewed the stories posted by you. Everything I’ve said until now feels like another Snapchat explanation, nothing else.

In addition, to simplify the process of posting Stories, hike has also baked in a new native camera right within the application. This built-in camera also comes bundled with a handful of photo-editing tools which enable you jazz up your photos. you have the option to add text, emojis, and even hike-exclusive Indianized stickers  to your snaps(oops, photos on hike!) The company is starting you off with a set of just 48 stickers but plans to roll out the entirety of its stickerverse to you in the coming months.

But, behold, the Indian messaging giant is not done yet. The company has also introduced new camera features including live filters and augmented reality face masks that’ll enable you to add some pizzaz to your Stories. To get started with Stories, all you need to do is open the app, swipe to the Stories tab and tap on the camera icon. Now once you’ve snapped the photo, you can spice it up using aforementioned photo-editing techniques but you can now also add 15 filters(or masks) that cover your bust with the said augmented reality mask. The company is finally embracing machine learning and integrating the same into its app via these filters which include a turban, a mustache and even once that makes you look like Modi Ji.

hike, which sees WhatsApp as its biggest competitor, has lately been trying to introduce features and Indian audience-focused stickers to grab the attention of the youth. It has also baked in a privacy feature which enables you to hide chats from everybody. They can be accessed by entering a lock pattern after tapping the hike logo on the top left.

Hike might have beaten WhatsApp with the release of the Stories feature first but the latter is also working on a similar  ‘Status’ feature of its own. The Facebook-owned messaging giant has recently introduced video calling, a necessary feature which is still missing from hike. The company has, however, recently also gulped a massive $175 million in Series D from WeChat parent Tencent and Foxconn Technology at a whopping valuation of $1.4 billion.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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