Opera, the Norwegian browser developer is Tuesday announcing the launch of its new dedicated chat service Hype, built into mobile web browser Opera Mini.

With the introduction of Hype in the Opera Mini browser, Opera is rethinking the concept of mobile browsers providing its users with a personalized, engaging browsing experience that enables seamless surfing, sharing, and communication – without compromising speed or driving increased data consumption.

“Chat services and browsers are apps people use every day and feel very personal about,” said Charles Hamel, Product Lead for Hype.

“With the integration of Hype in Opera Mini, we are not only rethinking what a chat service should be like in 2021 but also changing the very definition of what a mobile browser should be.”

Hype is launching first in Kenya as a pilot market, where starting Tuesday, users will be able to easily set up their Hype account and start chatting with secure end-to-end encryption.

This launch is a facet of Opera’s emphasis on investing and growing its digital ecosystem in Africa, with the goal of bringing more people online; since 2018, Opera has grown its user base in Africa by 40 percent.

“Hype was developed first and foremost with African consumers in mind. Today, 40 percent of the Kenyan population has access to smartphones, with younger generations dominating as 75 percent of their 47 million inhabitants are under 30 years old,” said Hamel.

“With such early adopter demographics at play, there is massive potential for the growth of Hype in Kenya. On top of that, we are also partnering with the leading telecommunication carriers in the country, offering free daily browsing to all Opera Mini users. We believe the combination of these factors will lead to the rapid adoption of Hype in the country.”

Hype is the first African-inspired chat service built into a mobile browser.

It offers its users a series of stickers created by Kenyan artists Brian Omolo and Lulu Kitololo to create original sticker packs for Hype that reflect everyday expressions unique to Kenyans.

“We are extremely happy to celebrate African culture with Hype and we are very excited with the result and the collaboration we had with Brian and Lulu.” said Hamel.

“These unique stickers with original designs are something we are very proud of at Opera as we become the first major browser to integrate real African art and pop culture into our products.”

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