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This article was published on June 16, 2014


    Indian chat app Hike adds private mode and 100MB file sending, as it hits 20m users

    Indian chat app Hike adds private mode and 100MB file sending, as it hits 20m users
    Jon Russell
    Story by

    Jon Russell

    Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

    We’re all familiar with ephemeral messaging, but how about password-protect chats? That’s a new feature that has been added to Indian chat app Hike, which announced that it has passed 20 million registered users today.

    In addition to the aforementioned ‘Hidden Mode,’ Hike users can now transfer files of up to 100MB in size across the service — that includes MP3s, PDFs .docxs and more. Locking away conversation might sound appealing to unfaithful partners, but Hike CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal explains many users in India simply crave addition privacy:

    A major cultural factor in India is that most kids still live with their parents until their mid 20s, and they don’t get much privacy. This is an easy way to protect your most private chats with a simple password. The way it’s designed, most people won’t even realize that you’re hiding something.

    Bharti Mittal says that, in addition to these features, the team has made “significant improvements” to the app’s performance on 2G and GPRS networks, and on lower-end Android devices to help users in India that are not running the latest and greatest.

    Hike was launched 18 months ago and, despite WhatsApp dominating India, the app continues to grow its domestic user base after adding five million new users in the past three months. Bharti Mittal reveals that 90 percent of users are from India, with 80 percent aged under 25 years old.

    Existing unique features on the app include an offline option, which uses SMS to maintain conversations when there is no internet connection, and India-themed sticker packs. The service is available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Nokia’s dated S60 and S40 platforms.

    Related: Mobile messaging service Hike lands $7 million to take on WhatsApp in India

    Headline image via anweber / Shutterstock