Hike Messenger to offer free voice-calling over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi

Hike has officially announced free voice-calling over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi across the globe in over 200 countries.

Earlier this month, we had managed to get exclusive screenshots of how India-based instant messenger Hike was planning to add a voice-calling feature to its service. Now, the company has officially announced free voice-calling over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi across the globe in over 200 countries.

It should be noted that the new feature has been introduced within a month of the company acquiring ZipPhone, a free calling app. Hike calls have been optimised to consume very little data, giving its users more calling minutes per MB of data, claims the company.

Commenting on the launch of the calling feature, Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike messenger, said “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. Hikers from India can now speak with their loved ones in India and across the world for free.”

Launched in December 2012, Hike had reported over 35 million users in August, 2014. It has raised $86 million from Tiger Global and BSB, so far. Most of its user base is under the age of 15 and residing in India. Some of its popular features are Hike Offline that lets you message your friends even when they’re offline, Hidden Mode that hides your private chats with a password and also several regional stickers.

The free Hike calling feature is currently in beta on Android, as the platform contributes to over 90 percent of Hike’s user base. The company plans to roll out iOS and Windows versions by the end of this quarter.

The voice-calling feature on messaging apps is something we might hear about a lot in 2015. In December, screenshots with WhatsApp’s voice-calling feature were leaked. The screenshots showed that the calling and chatting functionality will appear on separate screens. Call logs, dialling and contacts screen were also seen in the leaked screenshots. Another interesting feature that is rumoured in WhatsApp is call-recording and playback. What is unclear is whether these features on the app will be paid or whether users will have to start paying for WhatsApp once the new features are rolled out. More recently another report claimed that WhatsApp will integrate ‘Call via Skype’ feature to its app.

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