In today’s world, connecting with friends and families is a tricky task for many people who are indulged in other activities. Opera’s chat service, Hype, is steadily growing to become the platform of choice for content creators and influencers.

Since its launch in Kenya in February 2021, Opera’s Hype has reshaped the idea of mobile browsers by providing users with a personalized and engaging browsing and chatting experience. Hype’s features allow users to continue chatting with their friends while browsing the internet without compromising speed or data consumption.

Three influencers and content creators, Victor Maina, Wanjiru Njiru and Sami Flinch shared their experiences with Hype.

“I wasn’t so sure about it at first until I saw Hype adverts on social media. I noticed it’s embedded in the Opera Mini browser which I was already using because I read my news from it. Since I’m on film sets a lot, I prefer texting to calling. The best feature on Hype for me is the stickers. It has words I use on a daily basis in Sheng or Swahili, in stickers designed by talented Kenyan designers. I love this feature,” said Victor Maina, speaking on his experience with Hype.

The stickers featured on Hype were created by Kenyan visual artists Brian Omolo and Lulu Kitololo. This makes Opera the first major browser to integrate African pop culture into its products.

“Kenyans are so talented, but unfortunately not enough of the spotlight is put on them. Collaborations like this give our artists a platform to express themselves, creating and showcasing Kenyan culture in different ways. I would love to buy merchandise made from Hype stickers, that is how good they look,” Victor notes.

Seconding Victor’s sentiments, Sami Flinch, an entertainer and DJ, explains, “It’s great to finally use stickers that I feel represent me as a Kenyan through the Hype chat service. The collaboration with Kenyan artists has a great impact and I would love to see more Kenyan creatives jumping on board. For instance, the Matwana Matatu Culture would represent the Kenyan culture very well.”

Fashion enthusiast and Digital creator Wanjiru Njiru agrees, noting that her love for multitasking has been made easier with Hype. “Everyone I know who tried Hype ended up loving it, because it makes life so easy. Hype fits into my busy lifestyle, and my favourite feature is the cool Kenyanised stickers. I think lots of Kenyans can relate to them. You should see how I use them in almost all of my conversations on Hype! Haha Niaje?” she added, referencing one of the most-used stickers on Hype so far.

Since its launch, Opera has continously added other engaging features such as GIF support, meme creator, and link previews to personalize chatting. Most recently, the Hype Clubs feature was added to allow those with similar interests to find and chat with each other as part of interest-based communities.

“Meme culture is a very big part of my online life, as is the case with every millennial. And now we have a messaging app where we can create something of our own,” added Wanjiru.

Fellow Digital Creator Victor Maina added, “It’s crazy how hilarious and fun conversations can be when people are given material to work with. Especially with people who share the same sense of humor. Sometimes I even come up with a video or photo concept right in my chats. It is pretty cool.”

WebSnap allows Hype users to take snapshots from the web. Once a websnap is captured, users can edit it by adding colors, text, and emojis to make it fun and entertaining before sharing it with others.

Hype continues to reiterate Opera’s commitment to investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa, with the goal of bringing more people online.