A new social media app that users say combines the best of Twitter, Instagram, and MySpace has skyrocketed to popularity, thanks to TikTok. If you’ve seen Hive Social trending on Twitter or everyone you know is suddenly joining the app, you might be wondering: What is the Hive app? Here’s how to use and master the social media platform.
ICYMI, Hive Social blew up on TikTok and Twitter on Feb. 2 after TikToker Imani Lewis shared an ad promoting it, and a One Direction "psychic" Twitter account followed suit by posting about it in a since-deleted tweet. The internet took notice, and after more than 100,000 tweets about the platform made it trend on Twitter on Feb. 2, the Hive Social app gained 130,000 users overnight, and crashed repeatedly. Until Feb. 3, it was the most-downloaded social media app on Apple’s App Store.
While 22-year-old founder Kassandra Pop first began developing the app in 2019, it didn’t really gain traction until that Tuesday. To put things into perspective, Pop told Teen Vogue that the app had only 15,000 users before it went viral. By Feb. 6, they had 1,000 downloads every five minutes.
At first glance, it’s easy to see why the app has taken off. It’s no secret many Instagram users have been clamoring for a return to a chronological timeline. The Hive app sets itself apart with its chronological home feed. Additionally, Hive also allows anyone to promote clickable links directly in their captions or in comments from the moment they sign up, rather than giving them a swipe-up button when they have a certain number of followers.
Hive also draws inspiration from Twitter by allowing users to share status updates using text and GIFs, and its photo- and video-sharing capabilities are what give you those Instagram ~vibes~. Meanwhile, a personalized music section on your profile serves up major MySpace nostalgia. The song you pick, which is free for the first one and 99 cents a pop for any songs after that, will play when someone visits your profile. It appears you need to have Apple Music to take advantage of the feature, so keep that in mind as you curate you jams.
To try the app for yourself, you’ll need to go to the Apple App Store and download Hive Social. (Unfortunately, it’s not available for Android users as of publication on Feb. 12, but Pop is planning to change that this year, per her conversation with Teen Vogue.) Once you create your profile with a username and photo, you’ll be prompted to select topics and other content that interests you. While the chronological home feed will only showcase posts from the people you follow, you can head to the Hive’s Explore page to check out featured content, look at hashtags that are currently trending, and bookmark lists of topics under the new Browse tab. It’s also very easy to search any topic by adding a hashtag and your search term in the search bar.
Some features will definitely remind you of Instagram. Like with the ‘Gram, you can follow different users and like, repost, share, and reply, to any posts. You can also upload GIFs as posts or use them to reply to someone else’s post.
Only time will tell whether Hive Social becomes the next Instagram, but the company said it is hoping to introduce a live-streaming feature and work out some of the recent bugs in the app as it continues to grow.
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