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Opera, a leading global internet brand, on February 23, 2021, announced the launch of its new dedicated chat service, Hype, built into the mobile web browser Opera Mini. By introducing Hype, Opera is rethinking the concept of mobile browsers that provide users with a personalized, engaging browsing experience. Hype enables seamless surfing, sharing, and communication without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption. 

In today’s market scenario, where people are largely mobile-first and reliant on paid data plans, Opera Mini is one of the most widely used mobile browsers in emerging markets, having over 100M users worldwide. Features like Data Compression, Offline File Sharing, and built-in Ad-blocker empower the app to save users approximately 90% on data use and facilitates safe, fast browsing where unlimited data isn’t the norm. By integrating chat functionality, Opera Mini allows users to browse, chat, and seamlessly share content, a key use case within messaging services – within a single, data-saving app.

Charles Hamel, Product Lead for Hype, stated that chat services and browsers are the apps that people use daily and feel very personal about. He further added that by integrating Hype in Opera Mini, they are rethinking the way chat service should be like in 2021 and also changing the very definition of an ideal mobile browser. 

Opera is launching Hype first in Kenya as a pilot market. Starting from the launch, users in Kenya will be able to easily set up their Hype account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption. Since 2018, Opera has seen a 40% increase in its user base in Africa. This unveiling is a true testament to Opera’s focus on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa to bring more people online.

Hamel stated that they developed Hype first and foremost by keeping African customers in mind. Today, 40% of the Kenyan population has access to smartphones, with younger generations dominating as 75% of their 47 million citizens are under 30 years old. He added that with such early adopter demographics at play, Kenya has massive potential for the growth of Hype. Furthermore, they are partnering with the leading telecommunication carriers in the country to offer free daily browsing to all Opera Mini users. Hamel thinks that the combination of these factors will drive the rapid adoption of Hype in the country. 

Hype’s announcement is similar to Opera’s innovation in 2019 when they emerged out to be the first to add messenger services as a part of their PC browser. Today, its 80 million+ users enjoy the integration of services such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Opera

Opera is a leading global internet brand having an engaged and growing base of over 380 million MAUs. Building on over 20 years of innovation and starting with browser products, the company is leveraging its brand and massive and highly active user base to expand its offerings and business. Opera offers a variety of products and services across Europe, Africa, and Asia, including Opera PC and mobile browsers, AI-powered newsreader, Opera News, and app-based fintech solutions.

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