Browser developer, Opera, has announced the launch of its new dedicated chat service, Hype, built into mobile web browser Opera Mini.

With the introduction of Hype in the Opera Mini browser, Opera will offer its users with a personalized, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless surfing, sharing and communication. All these without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption.

Hype is launching first in Kenya as a pilot market, where effective immediately, users will easily set up their Hype account and chat with secure end-to-end encryption. This launch is a facet of Opera’s emphasis on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa. This is with the goal of bringing more people online. According to Opera, the browser has grown its user base in Africa by 40% since 2018.

Collaboration with Kenyan artistes

Hype is the first African inspired chat service built into a mobile browser. It offers its users a series of stickers created by Kenyan artists Brian Omolo and Lulu Kitololo to for original sticker packs for Hype that reflect everyday expressions unique to Kenyans.

“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. 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,” explained Hamel.

This unique offer from Hype stands out from other chat services. It provides Kenyans the ability to express themselves more accurately when using chat apps.

This announcement follows similar browser innovation from Opera, which was the first to integrate messenger services as part of their PC browser, in 2019. Currently, more than 80 million users enjoy the integration of services such as Facebook messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter.

Content sharing

To make chat expressions easier and fun, Hype brings WebSnap feature, previously known from the Opera desktop browser, that allows 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. This enhances efficiency, as users no longer need to copy links from websites and switch between apps to share the content they want.

Mobile browsing

Opera Mini is a small, fast and powerful browser launched in 2006. It comes with unique features such as Data Compression, Offline File Sharing, and built-in Ad-blocker. Opera Mini also enables access to free ebooks through the Worldreader speed dial, and Kenyan music-streaming service, Mdundo, allowing users to stream or download music through the Opera Mini browser.

Opera Mini is currently used by more than 100 million people who chose it over the pre-installed browsers on Android mobile devices. Opera Mini has a 4.4-star rating on Google Play and has been reviewed by more than six million people worldwide.

“Chat services and browsers are apps people use every day and feel very personal about. 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,” said Charles Hamel, Product Lead for Hype.

“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,” added Hamel.