News and Views

Hive Social – yay or nay?

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding how we want to connect with friends online. Now, Hive Social is the latest, freely available social media app on the scene trying to entice users across the globe.

 

The app is growing exponentially in popularity among the 18–34-year-old audience, gaining more than  130k sign-ups in February. It’s a hot trending topic on Tik Tok and Twitter.  

 

But is it for you? Here’s what I found out.

 

1.    First impressions

 

Off the bat, the app was easy to download and set-up. What struck me first was its likeness to Instagram, almost identical really. Although it’s less polished than competitors, it was easy to navigate and featured everything you would expect – profile tab, explore page, notification tab, feed tab, and the upload button centre stage.

 

When  setting up my profile, I was offered the option to add a ‘free song slot’ that would play when users visited my page (very similar to MySpace). Although, the app’s beta functionality showed when I was unable to search for songs or show my options. There was the option to upgrade to a paid music slot for a $1.99. I passed.

 

When I posted my first picture, I was delighted that I could also upload status updates, videos, and GIFs. A cool addition that puts the user first. Yet, I was disappointed when I couldn’t edit my images via the app. Perhaps, this isn’t a huge issue, but it would have been nice to add a black and white filter from within the app rather than resorting to external editing.

 

2.    What’s on the feed?

 

It’s Hive’s feed that really appeals to me. Once you find the users you want to follow, your feed displays in chronological order and is ad free. This is a huge selling point when you consider Instagram’s increasing use of sponsored posts on the main timeline and in stories. Funnily enough, many of those I  follow on Hive have already expressed concerns about its future use.  Comments such as “let’s enjoy this before the influencers ruin it” and  “when people find this, it’s gonna suck” are commonplace.

 

It’s easy to find people to follow as the explore page breaks content down into categories such as Beauty, Food, Travel and Music. You can join the communities you want with ease. My feed is filled with pictures, videos, memes, and I can interact just as I can on Instagram. I swipe down to scroll through user content, I can like and comment like on most apps. I can also repost user content with my own caption or comment. This is a fun addition, but beware that the reposted image/video only appears on the main feed and not on your personal profile.

 

3.    Is it worth the buzz?

 

As expected from a new app, some of the small technical glitches need ironing out, but these aren’t impacting dramatically on my user experience. None of my friends have yet joined Hive, so I am currently missing the interactions that I gain from other social media profiles. Currently, I don’t feel compelled to check it or update it in the same way.

 

If more users join Hive Social – there is the potential for it to become a great social media app. It’s buzzing with activity and the perfect place to connect with communities of people with a variety of interests. I think people are drawn to the app because it reminds them of the early days of the internet. Hive combines the feel of Instagram with the old-school sense of community that uplifts user-generated content. And, for now, it is free of influencers and sponsored posts.

 

It’s a yay from me.

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Written By: Emma Yardley