HikeMoji, the personalized avatar from Hike, is coming out of beta. Hike is announcing the official roll out of HikeMoji for all its users today. It launched in beta on November 15, 2019. Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder & CEO, Hike said there are more one million HikeMojis created in the beta stage. Called HikeMoji version 1.0, the feature is now getting a major update. The company says it has revamped the product with cheaper data and access to smartphones in mind.
Hike calls HikeMoji as India’s first hyper-local and personalized avatar. With HikeMoji V1, the company has improved the machine learning algorithms that comb through combinations. The company says its ML platform is capable of combing 100 quintillion combinations. During the beta stage, the platform was capable of combing 100 trillion combinations. It says HikeMoji can now be created in under 3 seconds with more life-like appearance than before. The version brings options to play around with over 1,200 components including hairstyles, skin shades, accessories, facial features, expressions and even emotions.
Mittal told BGR India that HikeMoji will reflect the personality of its users and not just their physical appearance. Some of the other features on V1 include options for dimples, freckles, cheek-lines and more. There are also new user generated stickers and seamless addition to WhatsApp. Hike does not have the large user base of two billion users enjoyed by WhatsApp. However, it does have better sticker options. With HikeMoji, it is trying to bring those elements to WhatsApp.
HikeMoji: Why it is crucial to Hike Land
On the Sticker Chat app, users will be able to convert anything they type into exclusive HikeMoji stickers of themselves. Once created, the same can be easily added to WhatsApp with one click. The Facebook-owned social messaging service added support for stickers in 2018. HikeMoji might sound just like another feature added to the sticker chat app. However, it serves a larger purpose and will play a key role in Hike’s upcoming new offering.
For Hike, 2019 was the year of transformation where it unbundled the service from super app format. The company launched Hike Sticker Chat last year and it seems to have been downloaded over 10 million times on the Play Store. It introduced the HikeMoji towards the end of the year in beta. With HikeMoji V1 being launched today, the company is inching closer to building a shared experience platform called Hike Land.
The company is looking to introduce Hike Land, a virtual world for Hike users, next month. In this virtual world, HikeMoji will serve as a digital avatar for each and every user. Mittal told BGR India that Hike is acting as a hangout place for its users. He says users spend most time active between 10:00PM and 12.30AM on the platform. With Hike Land, the company wants to build a virtual world for these very users. Yes, Mittal says that this virtual world can be dubbed as smartphone version of OASIS, the massively multiplayer online simulation game seen in the movie Ready Player One.
While OASIS was a game, Hike Land will serve as a digital place for conversation. When it becomes official, the primary method of interaction will be through stickers. In other words, everything you type there will appear as HikeMoji. But Mittal explained that the company is looking at voice as a natural extension to this virtual world. “There’s a lot more coming. We’re just getting started,” Mittal said during the call.