Opera launches first African-inspired chat service in Nigeria
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July 6, 20211.2K views0 comments
Opera, a leading global web innovator and multi-platform web browser, has announced the establishment of the world’s first African-inspired chat service, Hype, into the Nigerian market. The introduction of Hype is one facet of Opera’s emphasis on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa, with the goal of bringing more people online, redefining the concept of mobile browsers, providing users with a personalised, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless chatting, surfing and sharing without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption, the company said.
The unique offers from Hype also provide users with a series of sticker packs created by African artists such as Okolo Chibuike and Mayowa Alabi from Nigeria. The sticker packs, the company explained, have been designed to include everyday expressions currently popular in Nigeria, giving Nigerians new ways of expressing themselves more accurately.
Speaking on the creation of the chat service, which was first launched in Kenya as a pilot market, Jørgen Arnesen, executive vice president, mobile browsers, Opera, said Hype is an original instant messaging service designed for the new generation of African internet users to elevate the traditional browsing experience and make it more engaging. He added that the innovative service bridges cultures from sub-Saharan Africa with mobile technology, offering Nigerians with Opera Mini and a Hype account, a unique opportunity to enjoy a browsing and chatting ecosystem tailored to their needs.
In response to the high cost of data in Nigeria and to help familiarise users with the concept of an easy-to-use chatting service experience, Opera said it has partnered with the leading carriers in Nigeria to enable free daily browsing and chatting for those using the service. The company noted that Opera Mini users with Airtel, MTN and Globacom SIM cards 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.
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Dwelling on the chatting experience, Opera said 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. Other notable features of the service include;
Hype Clubs- This feature is organised into topic-based channels where users can easily chat about their mutual interests. With this, users can share opinions with others, or even create their own Club and gather interested people together. Moreso, fans of sports, gaming, the arts, and even software development are now able to find a community they can truly belong to.
Built-in meme creator- With the introduction of 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.
GIF support in chat – 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 view are also available.
Share online content using Websnap- To make it easier for users to express themselves using memes and stickers, 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.
To activate the Hype account, users are expected to have an Opera Mini application on their devices where they can 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 names and take a selfie or upload a personalised 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.