Hike, the Indian-born Instant Messaging rival to WhatsApp, Line, Viber, WeChat, Telegram, Messenger and others (sorry if I missed some names, there are just too many !) has now unveiled a newly designed, version 4.0 of its IM app — with one new feature called ‘News’.
Hike’s latest version (v 4.0) has got some major design as well as functional revamps on on its end. However, what would strike you rather more instantly, is the all-new design — themed on Google’s material design philosophy.
And just to understand the scale of revamp in this update, Hike itself acknowledges the fact, that “This is the biggest update to Hike since Hike itself”.
First things first though, the update brings in a new feature called ‘News’ — which — as the name suggests — is a daily news platform pushing in byte-sized stories (less than 100 words) to your feed. And within 24 hours of its launch, Hike already claims to have over 1 million users for its news service.
Talking about users and messages sent by them, Hike says that its platform has now crossed the 20 Billion messages per month threshold — a number staggering enough for any IM app at any scale.
Let’s get to the newer version in detail now.
Hike has always been more about stickers, design, themes, and a socialised experience — rather than than core, simplified IM experience that WhatsApp is. And while this definitely as earned Hike criticism (slowed down app being the most common), the same has also helped it pile on userbase, specially in India. And this latest update, pretty much continues to build on that very aspect.
For example, version 4.0 features seven Brand New Chat Themes — giving more customisation to users. Hike now also has Photo Status Updates which will let you post photos on your timeline. Then there’s the ability to “Like” Your Friends Status & Profile Pictures — pretty much summing up where Hike’s core focus lies.
On the more functional side though, Hike has brought some nifty little changes. You can now search for anything inside a conversation — a well thought-out inclusion I must say. Secondly, Hike now also allows you to set up multiple group admins. Thirdly, Hike claims that the app has been made 5x faster than the previous version — which if true (since I am yet to update the app), could seriously help Hike pile on an even greater number of users for its platform.
The IM app is also getting a logo overhaul — though changes are not hugely striking, with some font thickness changes and a lighter colour hue.
This is what Kavin Mittal, Hike’s founder and head has to say about the new logo,
After 4 rounds of iteration, we decided it was important to keep the essence of hike but mold it into the new age and what that resulted in was a slimmer, sleeker, flatter and more beautiful version and if you notice carefully, a brand new sky blue colour.
Here’s a graphic which illustrates the difference :