Opera, the browser developer has today launched a new dedicated chat service dubbed Hype for users in Kenya.
Hype is built into mobile web browser Opera Mini and will provide its users with a personalized and engaging browsing experience with a local touch unlike other chat services on the continent. Hype is launching first in Kenya as a pilot market.
According to Charles Hamel, Product Lead for Hype, “With the integration of Hype in Opera Mini, we are not only rethinking what a chat service should be like in 2021, but also changing the very definition of what a mobile browser should be.”
“Hype was developed first and foremost with African consumers in mind. Today, 40% of the Kenyan population has access to smartphones, with younger generations dominating as 75% of their 47 million inhabitants are under 30 years old,” said Hamel. “With such early adopter demographics at play, there is massive potential for the growth of Hype in Kenya. On top of that, we are also partnering with the leading telecommunication carriers in the country, offering free daily browsing to all Opera Mini users. We believe the combination of these factors will lead to the rapid adoption of Hype in the country.”
Hype is an African-inspired chat service and the first to be built into a mobile browser. It offers its users a series of stickers created by Kenyan artists Brian Omolo and Lulu Kitololo to create original sticker packs for Hype that reflect everyday expressions unique to Kenyans.
“We are extremely happy to celebrate African culture with Hype and we are very excited with the end result and the collaboration we had with Brian and Lulu.” said Hamel. “These unique stickers with original designs are something we are very proud of at Opera as we become the first major browser to integrate real African art and pop culture into our products.”
This announcement follows similar browser innovation from Opera, which was the first to integrate messenger services as part of their PC browser, in 2019. Today, its more than 80 million users enjoy the integration of services such as Facebook messenger, Telegram, Whatsapp, Instagram and Twitter.
Due to the popularity of memes and stickers, Hype brings WebSnap, a feature previously known from the Opera desktop browser, that allows users to take snapshots from the web, edit them by adding colors, text, and emojis, to make it fun and entertaining before sharing with others.
WebSnap also allows users to smoothly share the link of the original website from which they took their snaps. This comes in handy as users no longer need to copy links from websites and switch between apps to share the content they want.
Opera Mini is a leading mobile browser
Launched in 2006, Opera Mini is a small, fast and powerful browser. It comes with unique features such as Data Compression, Offline File Sharing, and built-in Ad-blocker. Opera Mini also enables access to free ebooks through the Worldreader speed dial, and the music catalogue of the Kenyan music-streaming service, Mdundo, allowing users to stream or download music through the Opera Mini browser.
Since 2018, Opera has grown its user base in Africa by 40%. Today, Opera Mini is used by more than 100 million MAUs who chose it over the pre-installed browsers on Android mobile devices. Opera Mini has a 4.4-star rating on Google Play and has been reviewed by more than six million people worldwide.