The instant messaging service, Hike, is launching Teen Patti, the first live multiplayer social game on its platform, ahead of Diwali. The company launched social gaming features earlier this year year to increase user engagement.
Hike is hoping that the new game will prompt users to join a live table to play a game of teen patti, the card game traditionally played on Diwali. Players have to log in to play the game in real time. Right now, the total number of players who can play at a time is five but that number is likely to go up in the near future.
"Indians have been playing teen patti for generations now, and it is quite customary to socialize and play the game around Diwali. What better platform and time to launch the game than a social chat app on Diwali," CEO Kavin Mittal told HuffPost India.
With over a 100 million users, Hike messenger has a sizable footprint in India. According to Mittal, it handles almost 40 billion messages per month, with an average user usage of 120 minutes per week. As of now, Hike messenger offers 10 games on its platform that include Snake, Sudoku, Word Rush and Solitaire.
"The response after launching social games has been amazing" Mittal said. "There have been more than 1.3 billion games sessions on the platform with an average user [player] spending 25 minutes per day playing games. The social aspect of challenging your friends makes it more engaging."
Hike is less like messenger services such as WhatsApp or Telegram that mainly focus on messaging, and more like WeChat and Line with their added emphasis on games and add-on services. With its stickers, hidden chats, and mini apps, Hike is aimed at a younger demographic.
The platform has also introduced add-on apps such as cricket scores, news, and more, but kept it all lightweight for the Indian consumers with no mini-app being larger than 1 MB. "Our target is to provide a rich messaging platform for youth," Mittal said. "That's why we have enabled Hike users to chat with their friends who don't have Hike installed. And, to cater to the regional diversity of India our stickers are available in over 40 languages."
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