Amid the current privacy row over WhatsApp and Signal, Indian messaging app Hike Stickerchat has officially shut down. The news of the messaging service, owned by Bharti Enterprises, being shut down was first revealed by its founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal on January 6 on Twitter.
“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 tweeted. Hike has already been removed from Google Playstore as well as Apple’s App Store.
12/ 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. Your HikeMoji will continue to be available in both Vibe & Rush!
— Kavin Bharti Mittal (@kavinbm) January 6, 2021
However, Mittal said that the Hike users can download their data inside the application. The messaging service, launched in 2012, was quite popular in those days. By August 2016, Hike had close to 100 million registered users and also supported 10 regional Indian languages. But soon after this, its popularity started falling due to the global influence of WhatsApp and other foreign messaging apps.
Though the reason for this sudden decision of shutting down the app has not been disclosed by the company, the brand is all set to replace Hike Messenger with new applications titled ‘Vibe’ and ‘Rush’.
Mittal said that Vibe, an invite-only community, and Rush will use Hike emojis and include minigames. Both these upcoming applications will be available for download on both Android and iOS platforms. According to Mittal, more than 1,00,000 people have already applied for Vibe. However, the CEO has not given an official date of when the two new apps will be made available.
Talking about the shutdown, Mittal said that it is quite difficult for the Indian messaging apps to thrive unless “global effects are too strong (unless India bans Western companies)”