Hike StickerChat shuts down. Here's all you need to know
Indian messaging app Hike StickerChat has shut down and is not available on Google PlayStore and Apple's App Store. Hike StickerChat's chief executive officer Kavin Bharti Mittal had announced the shutdown of its operation on January 6. "Today we're announcing that we will be sunsetting StickerChat in Jan'21. We thank you all for giving us your trust. We wouldn’t be here without you. All your data will be available to download in the app," Mittal had tweeted.
On January 14, the artificial intelligence-powered Indian unicorn had also tweeted about the shutdown of the app and had said, "The time has finally come for us to bid farewell to Hike Sticker Chat. Thank you for your love, trust and support. Our relationship with you means the world to us, and so we are looking forward to seeing you on our new and exciting apps."
The company had also issued a statement to its users asking them to export their chats from the platform by 11:59pm on January 14, 2021. "You can continue to reach us on email@example.com for any issues till 15th Feb 2021," the statement said.
The Bharti Enterprises-owned homegrown app had been a rival of WhatsApp in the Indian messaging ecosystem. The news of its shutdown comes amidst the privacy row concerning WhatsApp that has driven users to other apps like Signal and Telegram. Mittal had also said Indian messaging apps can't compete with the likes of Telegram and Signal unless the country bans western companies.
While the reason for the shutdown is not known, Mittal has introduced Hike's new products for 2021 - Rush and Vibe (earlier known as HikeLand). Rush will be a bite-sized gaming platform that will have games like carrom and ludo, whereas HikeLand has evolved to Vibe that is now an approval only community platform, that means users will have to apply to join the service.
Mittal also credited Hike StickerChat for being the launchpad of its various platforms with million users actively using the app for an average of 35 minutes per day.
Also Read | WhatsApp defers new policy on info sharing
The users of the app have been upset with the latest development and expressed displeasure by writing reviews on Hike's other products on PlayStore. "I have been using Hike since its launch. I will really miss the Hike and its interface. It was very good and one of the most loved applications for chat," said one of the users, "Feeling sad for its shutdown," he added.
Marquee investors like Tencent and Bharti Enterprises have infused capital in the company. Till date, Hike has raised around $261 million, as per the Crunchbase data.
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