Does Hive Social present a serious alternative to Twitter?

A mix of Instagram and Twitter, the Hive Social platform allows users to post messages and share photos and videos, which are displayed on your profile as a grid of posts similar to how they appear on Meta's social network. — Photo by Rob Hampson on Unsplash

It's the platform that everyone's talking about at the moment. Like other social networks, such as Mastodon, relatively recent arrival Hive Social is taking advantage of the chaos surrounding Twitter since its purchase by Elon Musk to expand its ranks. Can Hive Social become a serious alternative to the network of the little blue bird?

After Twitter's bird, now it's the turn of Hive Social's bees to generate some buzz. The platform, which is still relatively under the radar, announced on November 21 that it had reached one million users. Since then, the site has further grown to two million subscribers, and its ranks continue to grow by the day. According to a Newsweek article dated November 22, some users were even unable to create their account on Hive Social because its email verification quota was set at 100,000 users per day. The network reported that it had added 250,000 more followers that day.

The application, which got its start in 2019, has shot up the charts of the most downloaded applications in the social networks category for both Android and Apple in many countries. Hive Social even reached the rank of top trending free app on the App Store in the US.

However, such success must be put into perspective, for instance when compared to the colossus that Twitter has become since its launch in 2006. Twitter counts 237.8 million active users per month.

How does Hive Social work?

A mix of Instagram and Twitter, the Hive Social platform allows users to post messages and share photos and videos, which are displayed on your profile as a grid of posts similar to how they appear on Meta's social network. The big difference highlighted by the platform is that the timeline allows users to view content in the order of their publication. Something that has been long requested by Instagram users. This is also what motivated the founder, Kassandra "Raluca" Pop, to teach herself code in order to launch her own platform. Frustrated by being subjected to the algorithm of social networks without being able to leverage it to her advantages as a micro-influencer, the 23-year-old wanted to create her own platform without being drowned by ads.

In addition to the ability to post GIFs and polls, the social network allows users to choose music and the colour of their profile's interface - exclusively on the iOS app for the moment. When it comes to policies of inclusivity, Hive Social also allows users to display their pronouns and astrological sign. Little extras that Generation Z loves.

Note that the profile music choices get counted on Apple Music, and soon will also be counted on Spotify, in order to provide financial compensations. Users can choose one song for free and pay 99 cents to add two more songs.

As with Twitter, Hive users can pay to subscribe to a creator's feed in order to gain access to exclusive content. Users can also receive gifts that they can turn into cash once they reach a minimum amount, which has not been disclosed.

After creating an account, the platform asks users to choose three categories from about 30 topics to tailor the content for their profile that will come up in the "Discover" tab.

One of the biggest differences compared with Instagram and Twitter concerns the policy regarding nudity. On Hive, such content is allowed as long as you tag your post as "NSFW" or "Not Safe For Work," indicating either sexual or violent content.

Moderation appears to be one of the most important issues on the application. Kassandra "Raluca" Pop, the founder said in an interview with Newsweek that there are only three people on the team managing the social network. The app does not yet offer two-factor authentication, a system that limits account hackers.

Despite the buzz surrounding this new social network, Elon Musk doesn't seem to be very worried about competition from it yet. The billionaire reacted with a comment: "lmao" to the tweet: "What the (expletive) is hive weren't we all hot on mastodon like two seconds ago?"

For Pop, Twitter shouldn't be the only network to worry about Hive's success. "I don't think it's a direct competitor to any specific social media," Pop said. "I know we have been called either an Instagram or Twitter alternative, but I would think of it as a competitor in general in the social media space. We're really just establishing our brand and making it our own," she said in an interview with Newsweek. – AFP Relaxnews

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