It looks like Hype –the in-browser chat service for Opera Mini users – is not just hype after all. This week has seen the launch of the service by global internet brand Opera in South Africa, Zambia and Ghana.
Describe as a personalised, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless chatting, surfing and sharing, without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption, Hype is the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser.
Users can easily set up an account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption right away. They can browse the web, chat with friends, and share self-created memes, stickers and GIFs with other Hype users, all in one app.
Aimed, inevitably, at a younger generation of internet users who expect more social connectivity from the apps they use on their devices, Opera Mini is said to be the first major browser in the world to integrate a social component that keeps users connected to the people that matter to them the most.
As we reported in February, Hype was piloted in Kenya, where it has enjoyed a very positive response, with more than 400,000 activations and more than 10,000 invites to join Hype per day.
To help familiarise people with the concept of an easy-to-use chatting service built into a browser, and as a response to the high cost of data in sub-Saharan Africa, Opera has partnered with the leading carriers in South Africa, Zambia and Ghana. Users of Opera Mini and Cell C in South Africa, MTN in Zambia and Vodafone or MTN in Ghana can activate free data anytime by opening the Feedback Bot in Hype, sending ‘Unlock my free data’ in chat, then clicking the link in the reply message. The free mobile data will be activated when the page is loaded.
Meme creation, in-chat GIF support, previews of links, easy online content sharing and more are part of what Opera calls the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser. It even offers its users a series of stickers created by African artists.