Norwegian Browser Developer Opera Mini has launched a new dedicated chat service dubbed Hype fast which will be piloted in Kenya.
“Chat services and browsers are apps people use every day and feel very personal about,” Product Lead for Hype, Charles Hamel said. “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.”
Users in Kenya will from today be able to set up Hype accounts on their Opera mini browsers and chat with a secure end-to-end encryption service. The development of Hype is part of Opera’s strategy to grow its digital footprint in Africa with an aim of bringing more people online. Since 2018, the company has grown its user base in the continent by 40 percent.
“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.
Among notable features on Hype is the Websnap which allows users to take snapshots from the web. Users can then edit the websnap by adding colors, text, and emojis before they share with friends.
Hype is the first chat service with components inspired by Africans. Kenyan artists Brian Omolo and Lulu Kitololo designed the chat service’s sticker packs.
“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.”