Opera has launched Hype Clubs, a feature for public and interest-based group chats in its new chat service Hype. Since its launch, Hype has gained popularity in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Zambia.

With Hype Clubs, sports enthusiasts, gaming fans, art lovers and even people interested in software development are now able to find a community they can truly belong to. Hype Clubs are organized into topic-based channels where users can easily chat about their mutual interests. If a user is into something, they will be able to find a Club for it. There they can share opinions with others, or even create their own Club and gather interested people together.

All Hype Clubs are public, so users do not need an invite to stay in touch and spend time together. The communities are generally centered around specific topics such as Euro 2020 or Minecraft. Some of the clubs users can join include Music and Art Club, Football Club, Relationship Drama, Citizens of Earth Club and Money Talk, Health Club and more.

“It’s important to belong. Hype Clubs is a place where users can be themselves and spend time with others who share their hobbies and interests. There’s no algorithm deciding what users should see, no endless scrolling, and no news feed. Conversations on Clubs are driven only by shared interests,” said Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile at Opera.

Hype will suggest Clubs to users based on their interests. They can also use the integrated search function to find something specific. Hype Clubs are currently available only on mobile with more to come. Joining any Club is free and invites are not required.

Opera has been working on enhancing user experience while on the app. Recently, Opera introduced new features to Hype, where users can now use link previews, GIFs, and the unique built-in meme creator to make chatting with friends even more personal and fun.

To enhance connectivity, Opera has partnered with nine leading carriers in the region to bring as many people online as possible. Through these partnerships, they are providing free data every day to those who use Opera Mini as their personal browser on their mobile phones. With this free data, they can browse, chat on Hype, access news articles, and stay informed about local events. Details of the free data deals are available on Opera blogs.