Opera has launched 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 in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Zambia.
Opera says 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.
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. 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, or even create their own Club and gather interested people together.
All 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. Some examples of the clubs users can easily join include: 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 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.
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 says it 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.
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.