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Hike Beats WhatsApp To Become #1 Free Mobile App in India, Reports 300K Downloads/Day

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Whatsapp messenger India

Made in India mobile messenger: Hike is now #1 free application on Android Playstore, iOS Appstore and Windows platform across India.

As of now, there are more 20 million users of this app, and as per a blog on their website, they have revealed that right now more than 300,000 downloads are taking place every 24 hours.

As of April, 2014, WhatsApp had 48 million users in India.

By topping the charts within such a short period, Hike has overtaken popular applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook which have been ruling the charts for past few months.

Hike has been created in India by Bharti Softbank, and has recently received funding of $14 million. Launched in December 2012, Hike quickly topped the Android platform as it registered 5 million users by April, 2013. During that time, it received it’s first funding of $7 million and in February 2014, when it reached 15 million users, it received it’s second funding of $14 million.

There are several unique features in Hike, which is attracting a large userbase from India such as:

  • Sharing of files upto 100 MB
  • Smartphone to feature phone messaging option
  • Offline usage
  • Support of different Indian languages
  • Hiding “Last seen” data
  • Password protected messages etc

In the last couple of months, Hike has unleashed a series of TV commercials and FM ads luring youngsters into their platform. They have even created an advertisement poking fun at WhatsApp (calls it WhatsCRAP), which is the industry leader in this segment right now.

Interestingly, 90% of the users of this messenger are based in India, and 80% are under 25 years of age. With these demographic details, it can be challenge monetizing the application. The next 6 months would be really crucial for Hike as its main challenges would be to increase the number of users, and introduce monetization methods which are sustainable, without hampering user experience.

On the other hand, it’s main competitor WhatsApp has a war chest with Facebook behind it. WhatsApp has promised that they will never introduce advertising in their messaging client. How Hike monetizes it’s user will be interesting to see!

Are you using Hike? How is your experience with it? Do share your opinions by commenting right here!

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  3. Christine says

    Well, I think Whatsapp is actually just over hyped. And proud that one of the Indian apps is on the top! Who takes the call for privacy related issues in whatsapp? It’s Hike now and in sometime it will be Photo4tune. Just a matter of time, I think Whatsapp will be over taken by other apps. I personally like Photo4tune for it’s features. You can find out more about it on https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.photo4tune.navigator

  4. Alok Garg says

    “80% of user below 25 years” says it all why I don’t think this data is correct. coz, neither I nor anyone in my regular touch uses Hike. Also, I received a promotional SMS couple of days back asking me to download Hike, I certainly got annoyed and replied with foul words.
    Eventually as it turned out that this person was a LinkedIn contact of mine who was using Hike and without his knowledge/intervention Hike sent out messages to all his contact, representing as him, to join Hike. As per him, this is a unique feature of Hike and if it, I WOULD NEVER EVER USE HIKE.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Alok – What needs to be really seen is the amount of activity on Hike. The reason the numbers are so high is because they offer freebies for referral – hence what happens is many people install it to get the freebies, but their main communication messaging client remains WhatsApp.

      The metric that is important is activity – how much is that. I am trying to find that out, but no numbers anywhere in that regards…

      1. krishnan says

        You point is correct, High activity decide who is king, if hike is getting installed for freebies there seems good download but when come to activity may be low, however activity decide who is winner.

  5. Aditya Nath Jha says

    It’s a proud feeling that an Indian app is amongst the top used apps worldwide, and it’s also saddening to see that the competition is none other than Whatsapp backed by Facebook. Let’s see what happens in the near future. I have never used Hike till date, but will surely try it just to know how it is. I think in the messenger segment the app you use is more from a matter of habit than of choice! :D

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