Sun, Dec 4, 2016 | updated 01:16 AM IST

Express yourself with Hike's Live Filters

Updated: Nov 17, 2016 18:40 IST

By Sahil Pandey

New Delhi [India], Nov. 17 (ANI): Hike messenger, India's first home grown messaging app, on Thursday rolled out three new features -- stories, a built-in camera and live filters -- and withdrew "Timeline" feature that was rolled out last year.

The stories feature, which is similar to Snapchat stories, allows the users to share stories with their friends through photos and videos. Stories are ephemeral and vanish 48 hours after being posted.

A user, who posts a story, can see how many people and who 'viewed' that particular story, the company said.

In order to cater to the large number of users who are shifting to visual forms of communication on chat, Hike Messenger has come out with an augmented reality feature with a camera built into the app.

It also announced the "live filters" that uses Hike's camera to automatically detect and recognise a user's face using machine learning.

"One of our goals for 2016 has been to bring photos at the centre of Hike and with Stories and Live Filters, we are doing just that. We believe our users are going to love Stories, Camera and Live Filters that we are announcing today, especially with increasing access to cheaper and faster data," said Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hike Messenger, Kavin Bharti Mittal.

Hike has 12 live filters including one that changes a user's face to that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"In honour of our Prime Minister who is doing all the great work, we launch the Live Filter of Narendra Modi and it is a platform for people to express themselves freely," Mittal said.

Explaining about his inspiration behind the updates, Mittal said,

"There is a deep thought which has gone behind this feature which took around three to four months."Mittal told ANI in an exclusive conversation.

The changes to the app, which has over 100 million users, come on the back of USD 175 million investments coming from China's Tencent, which owns the super app WeChat and Foxconn.

The company expects the users to increasingly start using these new features even as access to cheaper and faster data increases.

Backing the Centre's decision to demonetise Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, Mittal said: "For long-term it is a great initiative, but in short-time there would be inconveniences. There are two sides to a coin like e-commerce is going through a drop in their sales and payment companies are having a ball and their volume is increasing greatly. For healthy ecosystem, you need online payments to work great. It is a great move too and long-term to make people to transact online. In the long-term, it is a positive move."

Stories, the new Camera and Live Filters on Hike are being rolled out across Android and iOS in India, which forms 95 percent of its global users' base.

Hike users, on an average, exchange 40 billion messages per month and spend 120 minutes per user per week on the platform.

Stories replaces what was earlier known as the Timeline, where the users would post their pictures and status would become part of the historical Timeline, the company added.

If you want to create your story on Hike, you have to follow these simple steps: swipe to the stories tab, tap on camera to create new stories and you can use other features to make it interesting and post.

These features are being rolled across Android and iOS platforms starting today. (ANI)