OSLO, Norway, Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Today, Opera (NASDAQ: OPRA) is announcing the launch of its new dedicated chat service Hype, built into mobile web browser Opera Mini. With the introduction of Hype, Opera is rethinking the concept of mobile browsers, providing users with a personalized, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless surfing, sharing and communication – without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption.
Opera Mini boasts more than 100M users worldwide and is one of the most widely used mobile browsers in emerging markets, where populations are largely mobile-first and reliant on paid data plans. With features like Data Compression, Offline File Sharing, and built-in Ad-blocker, the app saves users roughly 90% on data use and enables safe, fast browsing where unlimited data isn't the norm. By integrating chat functionality, Opera Mini users can now browse, chat and seamlessly share content – a key use case within messaging services – within a single, data-saving app.
"Chat services and browsers are apps people use every day and feel very personal about," said 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 is launching first in Kenya as a pilot market, where starting today, users will be able to easily set up their Hype account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption. This launch is a facet of Opera's emphasis on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa, with the goal of bringing more people online; since 2018, Opera has grown its user base in Africa by 40%.
"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."
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.
Opera is a leading global internet brand with an engaged and growing base of over 380 million MAUs. Building on over 20 years of innovation, starting with our browser products, we are increasingly leveraging our brand as well as our massive and highly active user base in order to expand our offerings and our business. Today, we offer users across Europe, Africa and Asia a range of products and services that include our PC and mobile browsers as well as our AI-powered news reader, Opera News, and our app-based fintech solutions.