Twitter alternative Hive jumps to top 20 in US App Store after more signups • TechCrunch

Twitter alternative Hive jumps to top 20 in US App Store after more signups • TechCrunch

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 boost in sign-ups in response to the upheaval on Twitter. The app is currently in the top 20 on the US App Store after seeing a surge of new interest over the weekend as the situation on Twitter continues to unravel.

Founded in 2019 by the then 22-year-old Kassandra Pop, Hive is not a direct Twitter clone. Instead, the Gen Z-focused social app was described in a Teen Vogue profile last year as a combination of concepts from a variety of social networks, including both Instagram and Twitter and even MySpace—the latter thanks to a feature that allows Hive- users add music to their profiles, among other things.

The app is also not exclusively timeline-based, as Twitter is. In addition to the main feed, Hive’s users can explore their interests across 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 the shared content, similar to other social networks, as well as click on hashtags to dive further.

In some ways, Hive may feel more comfortable for ex-Twitter users looking for a new home because the app has a simple and familiar set of navigation options — there are tabs for viewing the main timeline or feed, a “Discover” section for exploring social network, a tab for accessing your profile and another for your notifications, for example. In the middle there is a button to create a new post.

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Hive also uses the same follower-based model as Twitter, as opposed to the mutual friend model you find on a network like Facebook.

But unlike most social networks, Hive eschews personalization algorithms in favor of a chronological feed, and it doesn’t make money using ads. Instead, Hive offers users the option to pay to unlock more 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 shows.

Hive gained traction in the weeks leading up to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, and the days that followed. According to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, about 214,000 of Hive’s total 733,000 lifetime installs came on iOS and Android in the last 30 days alone. It’s worth noting that Hive seems to have caught the attention of those outside the US — its non-US installs account for about 86% of Hive’s total downloads, Sensor Tower said.

Image credit: Hive

The app saw another surge in registrations starting on Friday and continuing over the weekend.

Perhaps not coincidentally, this was around the time Musk decided to welcome former President Donald Trump back to Twitter by unlocking his account. While Trump has yet to tweet saying he prefers his own app Truth Social, it appears Musk’s move was enough to encourage even more of Twitter’s users to look for alternatives as they consider making the jump.

Sensor Tower’s data indicates that Hive has gained around 144,000 new installs in the last few days (Friday 18 November to Sunday 20 November 2022). 22,000 of these installations were from the US alone, it says. During this time, the app also jumped from the #338 overall iPhone app on the US App Store to the #17 app today. And it is the No. 3 app in the Social Networks category at this time.

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According to posts on Hive’s TikTok, the app crashed over the weekend when another 80,000 people signed up to check it out. As of this morning, Hive’s Twitter account reported the app now has “almost 900,000” users registered in total. (This number doesn’t exactly match Sensor Tower’s download estimates, but third-party data isn’t an exact science.)

@officialhivesocial HOW DO YOU LOSE 44 BILLION IN ONE MONTH?? Join Hive anyway, link in bio🐝🫶 #riptwitter #goodbyetwitter #twittershutdown #twitterdown #elontwitter #elonmusk #hivesocial ♬ original sound – Hive Team🐝💛

This weekend is not 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 gained 439,000 new installs, 64% of which were from the US, Sensor Tower data shows. This increase can be attributed to the founder’s decision to pay a TikTok influencer to make a video, which resulted in about 250,000 installs in a few days, she claimed to push at the time.

Hive’s appeal may not only be due to its mix of social networking concepts or its ease of use compared to signing up for Mastodon, which has confused some potential users who don’t understand how to choose a server or what “fediverse” means. As with BeReal, works Gen Z more attracted to newer social networks run by indie entrepreneurs, not launched by big tech brands.

The app was previously seen raising money on WeFunder, but has not made any official fundraising announcements. (The app, which is available at Hivesocial.app, is not to be confused with the older Hive Social app, which was previously hosted at hivesocial.com and promoted by “The Bachelorette” contestant Peter Kraus.)

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Hive has not yet responded to requests for comment.

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