Hike messaging service shuts down, leaves app stores
The Bharti Group scion relayed a tone of defeat through his tweets, where he lamented that India won't have its own messaging service. His tweet also tacitly called for a ban on "Western companies" while citing strong "global network effects" preventing Indian messaging platforms from succeeding. While such government overreach is commonplace in traditional manufacturing industries, it's difficult to regulate cyberspace.
India won’t have its own messenger.— Kavin Bharti Mittal (@kavinbm) January 10, 2021
Global network effects are too strong (unless India bans Western companies)@telegram UX, Groups better than @signalapp
Both are very good. As entities they have the right incentives (more aligned with consumers) unlike FB products.
In the intervening period, Hike had tried out everything from feature phones to mobile entertainment in order to claw its way back to relevance. This also includes the HikeLand, a social virtual product the company had unveiled last year. Dubbed as a "mobile-first virtual world," HikeLand is a virtual hangout service that is touted to send traditional text-based messaging services to the history books.
Backed by SoftBank Group, the start-up was valued at $1.4 billion at its peak in 2016. However, Hike failed to make a dent against Facebook's vice-like grip over Indian social media space. At 400 million registered users, WhatsApp continues to remain the dominant messaging platform in the country. The fact that it wasn't even considered as a WhatsApp alternative underscores Hike's fall from relevance.
Meanwhile, Mittal's company hasn't tapped out of the social media space. He tweeted that he has since moved on to develop the Vibe social media app (alias HikeLand), while also working alongside on a gaming product dubbed as Rush. Vibe is presently an invite-only platform that will continue to use Hike emojis. Mittal claimed that one lakh users have already registered on the platform.