Hike messaging app or Hike Sticker Chat has been shelved, citing an inability to compete with foreign messaging apps. The free cross-platform instant messaging application was launched in 2012, and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal announced earlier this month that they would be drawing the curtains soon. In a tweet made on 6 January, Mittal said: “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”. He added that the firm was being reimagined as ‘Vibe and Rush,’ which will have Hike’s special emojis and its name: Vibe by Hike.

While Vibe will be an “approval-only community,” Rush will be a “bite-sized gaming service.” It is to be noted here that Vibe by Hike was previously known as HikeLand.

A few days later, Mittal declared that “India won’t have its own messenger.” His comments come while the entire country was erupting over WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, a messaging app used by the majority of Indians. After the news of its privacy policy spread, people urged everyone to shift to other apps like Telegram and Signal. This backlash ultimately led WhatsApp to delay their new policy by three months.

Mittal also wrote that global companies like Telegram and Signal were too strong, and unless India bans foreign firms, it is difficult for homegrown apps like Hike to impact. He opined that both Signal and Telegram were better than Facebook-owned companies (WhatsApp) as entities.

Now the app Hike Sticker Chat is no longer available to download from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. While no clarity has been given behind the closing down of the app, Hike Messenger users can get their conversations and data downloaded from within the app itself.

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