New Delhi: Homegrown messaging app Hike on Wednesday announced the roll out of ‘HikeLand’ that allows users to hang out with their friends and watch videos together in a virtual environment.
The early preview of HikeLand, which is being rolled out from Wednesday, includes two shared experiences - ‘Home’ and ‘Big Screen’.
Home is a private space where users can hang out with their closest friends and offers a voice-led experience where users can talk and watch videos together virtually. Keeping user privacy at the heart of the experience, no one can enter a Home in HikeLand without the user’s invitation, the company said in a statement.
Similar to a brick-and-mortar theatre, Hike’s Big Screen allows users to watch videos with other people. To start with, Big Screen is currently powered by YouTube and would be running shows 24x7 around comedy, sports, and others.
“With advancements in technology, so much is possible today that wasn’t even just a few years ago. The world has evolved, it’s time for social products as well. With HikeLand, we’re launching the world’s first mobile-first Virtual World. A brand new take on how people can hangout online, transcending beyond the limitations of the offline world,” Hike founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said.
It’s a paradigm shift in the user experience which goes beyond the traditional feed, likes, comments, and shares, he added.
The company said HikeLand is a homegrown product that has been built from the ground up keeping India in mind.
“It is an India-first product built for a mobile-first/mobile-only audience...Leveraging diversity of art skills and resources, HikeLand also brought together a design team of not only UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) but also fashion, art, and 3D artists,” it added.
In August 2016, Hike became the 10th Indian startup to be valued at over USD 1 billion. Hike has raised over USD 261 million in capital from investors such as SoftBank, Tiger Global, Tencent, Foxconn and Bharti, among others.