Instant messaging services are extremely popular around the world. Owing to this, makers of these apps have made several additions to attract users on its platform and India's Hike Messenger is one of them.
This has led to stiff competition among the companies like WhatsApp, which has resulted in a great end-user experience. In order to keep up with the competition, Hike makers announced on Wednesday that its users will be able to make free voice calls over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi services to over 200 countries around the world.
The introduction of this new feature is quite commendable as it comes just one month after the company made its first acquisition — a free-calling app Zip Phone.
"While building free hike calls, we kept two things in mind. Firstly, India is a very cost sensitive market and as a result we've ensured that our service is extremely efficient on data. It means our users can pack in more minutes per MB when calling on hike. Secondly, we've made hike's free calling service available globally in over 200+ countries," said Kavin Mittal, who is the founder and CEO of Hike, in a press statement.
The report also confirmed that the feature has already been launched in beta for the Android platform. The iOS and Windows versions are slated to release by the end of this quarter. Releasing an Android version first may be smart move for the app makers since Android contributes to over 90% of its users.
"Given that a majority of the mobile-internet users of India are still experimenting with data and are not on a high- bandwidth connection, this optimisation becomes critical for the Indian market," Hike said.
Hike, which is a so-called over-the-top (OTT) service, is backed by Bharti Softbank, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japan's SoftbankCorp. It has more than 35 million users and has raised $86 million from Tiger Global and Bharti Softbank till date.
The latest development comes at an interesting time when mobile operators are demanding that over-the-top (OTT) players like Hike, WhatsApp, Line and Skype be brought under regulation, DNA India reported.
To get started with Hike, download the smartphone app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone for free.