OSLO, Norway — Opera is launching Hype Clubs, public and interest-based group chats in Hype, the new chat service built into the Opera Mini web browser. Hype is currently available and quickly gaining popularity in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria and other English-speaking African countries.
Chatting with others who have the same interests is a great way to find new friends and become a part of an interest-based community. With Hype Clubs, fans of sports, gaming, the arts, and even software development are now able to find a community they can truly belong to.
Chatting with those who are on the same wavelength
Hype Clubs are organized into topic-based channels where users can easily chat about their mutual interests. If a user is into something, there is a good chance they can find a Club for it. There they can share opinions with others and gather interested people together.
All of the Clubs are public, so no invite is needed to stay in touch and spend time together. The communities are generally centered around specific topics such as Euro 2020 or Minecraft. Here are some examples of the clubs users can easily join: Music and Art Club, Football Club, Relationship Drama, Citizens of Earth Club & 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,” said Jørgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile at Opera.
“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.”
Hype suggests 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.
Browsing and chatting, all in one app
Hype is the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser, allowing users to easily set up an account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption right away. Hype was built because younger generations of internet users are expecting more social connectivity from the apps they use on their devices. It’s now available in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Zambia, with more to come.
With Hype, Opera Mini has become the first major browser in the world to integrate a social component that keeps users connected to the ones that matter the most. This unique and innovative blend is something that no other mobile browser in the Google Play Store offers.
Opera is constantly working on improving the chat experience. Recently, Opera introduced new features to Hype: users can now use link previews, GIFs, and the unique built-in meme creator to make chatting with friends even more personal and fun.
Free data campaigns
As a response to the high data costs in Sub-Saharan Africa, 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.