In the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, users have fled to other social apps like open-source microblogging platform Mastodon and niche communities like CounterSocial. Now, another social app called Hive is seeing a surge in signups in response to the Twitter upheaval. The app today sits in the top 20 on the US App Store after seeing a surge in new interest over the weekend as the tide on Twitter continues to evolve.
Founded in 2019 by then 22-year-old Kassandra Pop, Hive is not a direct clone of Twitter. Instead, the Gen Z-focused social app was described in a Teen Vogue profile last year as combining concepts from a variety of social networks, including Instagram and Twitter, and even MySpace, the latter thanks to a feature which allows Hive users to add music to their profiles, among other things.
Also, the app isn’t solely timeline-based, like Twitter is. In addition to the main feed, Hive users can explore their interests in a variety of topic-based communities, such as science, technology, cars, music, fashion, pets, crafts, books, travel, games, art, food, and many others. Here, users can like, comment and repost shared content, similar to other social networks, as well as click on hashtags to dive further.
In some respects, Hive might feel more comfortable with former Twitter users looking for a new home because the app has a simple and familiar set of navigation options: There are tabs to view your timeline or main feed, a “Discover” section to explore the social network, a tab to access your profile and another for your notifications, for example. In the center is a button to create a new post.
Hive also uses the same follower-based model as Twitter, as opposed to the mutual friendship model you might find on a network like Facebook.
However, unlike most social networks, Hive eschews personalization algorithms in favor of a history feed and doesn’t monetize using ads. Instead, Hive offers users the option to pay to unlock additional slots that allow them to showcase more of their favorite music on their profile. These range from $0.99 for a second slot to $1.99 for a third or fourth, the app’s App Store listing indicates.
Hive gained traction in the weeks leading up to and in the days following Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Approximately 214,000 of Hive’s 733,000 total installs on iOS and Android have arrived in the last 30 days alone, according to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower. Of note, Hive appears to have caught the attention of those outside the US: Its installations outside the US account for about 86 percent of Hive’s total downloads, Sensor Tower said.
Data.ai’s estimates are broadly in line with Sensor Tower’s, as it sees over 720,000 lifetime installs as of Nov. 20, but sees a higher number – 370,000 – coming from the U.S.
The app saw another wave of signups starting Friday and continuing through the weekend.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this was the time Musk decided to welcome back former President Donald Trump to Twitter by unblocking his account. While Trump has yet to tweet, saying he prefers his app Truth Social, it seems Musk’s move was enough to encourage even more Twitter users to seek alternatives as they contemplate jumping ship.
Data from Sensor Tower indicates that Hive gained approximately 144,000 new installs in the past few days (Friday, November 18 to Sunday, November 20, 2022). 22,000 of these installations came from the United States alone, he says. During this period, the app also leapt from the number 338 iPhone app in the US App Store to become the number 17 app today. In the UK it is number 17 and it is number 24 in Canada.
The app was also app no. 3 in the social networking category in the US at the time of writing, Sensor Tower said.
According to Hive’s TikTok posts, the app crashed over the weekend when 80,000 more people signed up to check it out. Since this morning, Hive Twitter account reported the app now has “nearly 900,000” registered users in total. (This number doesn’t exactly line up with Sensor Tower’s download estimates, but third-party data isn’t an exact science.)
@officialhivesocial HOW DO YOU LOSE 44 BILLION IN ONE MONTH?? Anyway join Hive, link in bio🐝 #riptwitter #goodbyetwitter #twittershutdown #twitterdown #elontwitter #elonmusk #hivesocial ♬ original sound – Hive Team🐝💛
This weekend isn’t the first time Hive has seen an influx of new users. The app also saw a brief spike in downloads in February 2021, when it got 439,000 new installs, 64 percent of which were from the United States, data from Sensor Tower shows. This surge can be attributed to the founder’s decision to pay a TikTok influencer to create a video, which resulted in an estimated 250,000 installs in just a few days, she said at the time.
Hive’s appeal may not only be due to its combination of social networking concepts or its ease of use versus Mastodon registration, which has confused some would-be users who don’t understand how to choose a server or what “fediverse” means. . As with BeReal, Gen Z seems more attracted to new social networks run by independent founders, not launched by big tech brands.
The app has previously been spotted raising funds on WeFunder, but hasn’t made any official fundraising announcements. (The app, available at Hivesocial.app, is not to be confused with the older Hive Social app, previously hosted at hivesocial.com and promoted by “The Bachelorette” contestant Peter Kraus.)
We had trouble calling up Hive on Twitter via search, where it’s ranked 30th for a search for the keywords “hive social” (without the quotes) and doesn’t show up at all if you search for “hive apps”. On! The actual Twitter account for the app is “@TheHIVE_Social”, but also a search for “thehive_social” specifically returns only the founder’s Twitter account (Raluca is her Romanian name).
Hive had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publishing. Shortly after, Kassandra Pop responded with the most recent metrics today, November 21, 2022, 12:52 PM PT. She said signups since Thursday night have surpassed 400,000 and the app currently has 998,000 users.
Update: As of 4 PM ET, the app has hit one million users, it said. The title has been updated to reflect this change.