"India is a sight & sound country and we also believe in celebrating our lives, and certainly we can make out that our shifting to a more visual form of communication, especially after the arrival of 4G."
Challenging one of the most popular messaging app Snapchat, India's first home grown messaging app hike messenger rolled out three new features today, on 17th Nov 2016.
The new three features are - Stories, a built-in camera and live filters -- and they withdrew "Timeline" feature that was rolled out last year.
"Stories is a new way for people on hike to share their lives and real moments with their friends through photos and videos," Kavin Mittal, Founder and CEO of hike messenger, said in the press conference.
"Our focus is on existing 100 million users to engage extensively, rather than on scaling up operations. We promise to introduce new features every week based on what's working & what's not starting from now onwards."
These stories vanish after 48 hours after being posted. In the "story" feature, a user can see how many people and who all have viewed that particular story, unlike the "loves" that was featured on "timeline" feature.
hike also launched its own built-in camera into the app. It also announced the "live filters" feature that uses hike's camera to automatically detect and recognise a user's face using machine learning.
hike has 12 live filters, including one that changes a user's face to Narendra Modi and actors like Ranveer Singh. Kavin said, "India is a sight & sound country and we also believe in celebrating our lives, and certainly we can make out that our shifting to a more visual form of communication, especially after the arrival of 4G."
Their next big step would be to introduce videos and enhance the experience of communicating through it. "One of our goals for 2016 has been to bring photos at the centre of hike and stories and live filters, we are doing just that. I really believe camera is the new keyboard," he added..
These features are being rolled out from Thursday across Android and iOS platforms.