Today, Opera has announced the launch of its dedicated chat service Hype, built into the Opera Mini mobile web browser, in South Africa. With the introduction of Hype, Opera is redefining the concept of mobile browsers, providing users with a personalized, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless chatting, surfing and sharing – without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption.
Browsing and chatting, all in one app
Hype is the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser, allowing users to easily set up an account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption right away. This means users can now browse the web, chat with friends, and share self-created memes, stickers and GIFs with other Hype users, all in one app.
Hype was built because younger generations of internet users are expecting more social connectivity from the apps they use on their devices. With this integration, Opera Mini becomes the first major browser in the world to integrate a social component that keeps users connected to the ones that matter the most. This unique and innovative blend is something that no other mobile browser in the Google Play Store offers.
“Hype is an original instant messaging service from Opera, designed for the new generation of African internet users to elevate the traditional browsing experience and make it more engaging. With Opera Mini and a Hype account, South Africans can enjoy a browsing and chatting ecosystem tailored to their needs,” said Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile Browsers at Opera. “Hype bridges cultures from Sub-Saharan Africa with mobile technology, as the world’s first African-inspired chat service.”
Hype was first launched in 2021 in Kenya as a pilot market, and it is already showing impressive results with more than 400k activations and more than 10k invites to join Hype per day. This launch was one facet of Opera’s emphasis on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa, with the goal of bringing more people online.
Free chatting with Hype
To help familiarize 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 South Africa, Opera has partnered with CELL C in South Africa to enable free daily browsing and chatting for those using the service. Users of Opera Mini and CELL C can activate the 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 25MB of mobile data per day will be activated when the page is loaded.
Opera is constantly working on improving the chatting experience. Hype users can now use link previews, GIF support, and the unique built-in meme creator to make chatting with friends even more personal and fun.
Memes are an essential part of internet culture. People not only use existing memes, but also wish to create and spread their own. Now, Opera has introduced the first meme creator built directly into a browser’s messenger! Users can choose memes in Hype chat, then edit them by changing the text and experimenting with fonts, colors and placement – more easily than ever. This comes in handy as users no longer need to copy links from websites and switch between apps to share the memes they want.
Hype supports GIFs and makes choosing them super simple with its search capabilities and scrollable GIF grid. To help users choose the one they want, GIF previews and full-screen views are also available.
It’s always good to know what’s hiding behind a link we’ve sent or received, which is why Hype comes with the link preview feature. With it, a snapshot preview, website header, and description will automatically appear in chat. This function is also available in encrypted chats and on metered networks.
Share online content in a snap
Today, new generations are relying on formats like memes and stickers to express themselves. To make this easier, Hype includes WebSnap, a feature already known from the Opera desktop browser, allowing users to take snapshots from the web. Once a websnap is captured, users can edit it by adding colors, text and emojis, making 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, so users no longer need to switch between apps to share the content they want.
First African inspired chat service in the world
Hype is the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser. It offers its users a series of stickers created by African artists such as Musonda Kabwe from South Africa. The sticker packs have been designed to include everyday expressions currently popular in South Africa. This unique offer from Hype stands out from other chat services and gives South Africans new ways of expressing themselves more accurately when using chat apps.
Hype account setup
To activate the Hype account, users should have an Opera Mini application. Users set up a Hype account by tapping the Hype logo at the bottom of the Opera Mini browser, or through the O menu. Next, they choose their name and take a selfie or upload a personalized photo, which will become their profile picture and will be visible for other Hype users. Once this process is completed, users sync Hype with their phone contact list to start chatting with others.