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Hive Social is making its presence felt as Twitter continues to look for direction

Businessmen to politicians, actors and singers to journalists, a wide range of people are on Musk's website and they won’t move to Hive or Mastodon overnight, if ever

Mathures Paul Published 26.11.22, 02:49 AM
Hive Social now has more than a million users.

Hive Social now has more than a million users. Picture: Hive Social

Thanks to Elon Musk’s missteps at Twitter, rival social media platforms are gaining popularity. While Mastodon continues to rise on the popularity charts, defectors are also moving to another platform called Hive Social.

It’s a clever implementation of functions that have made Twitter and Instagram popular. In fact, you will be confused as to the platform you are on. Once you sign up for Hive, you will be required to choose a few interests, which ensures that the feed gets populated. If you want to choose more than three interests, go ahead.


The main page is where all the magic happens. Called ‘Discover’ it does what it promises but in a way that’s perfect for anyone accustomed to a visual-heavy interface. On the ‘Discover’ feed there are tiles based on the categories of interest. Each section can be scrolled horizontally, just like you do on news websites or even on Amazon to choose a product. Once you select an account, the scrolling becomes vertical, like on Twitter or Instagram.

You get a similar “@username” approach here, so something familiar from Twitter. As for each of the posts, it reminds one of Instagram, complete with options like “heart”, “comment” and “share” (looks like the retweet button).

The algorithm shows posts chronologically, that is, as and when users post something new while there are no advertisements to distract. There is even MySpace’s auto-play profile song features.

Pop choice

Hive is not a platform that was started after Musk took over Twitter. Developed in 2019 by then 22-year-old CEO Kassandra Pop, Hive gained popularity in the last few days. For the past four days, it has been near the top of the list of most-popular free apps in the Apple App Store — above TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Since November 17, there has been a growth of more than 750,000 users. On its Twitter account, Hive has announced it has crossed one million “besties”.

“You want to see your friends and family, so we just kept it simple and people seem to really like the chronological feed,” Pop, CEO of Hive Social, told Teen Vogue in 2021. “In my senior year of high school, I was obsessed with Criminal Minds’ Penelope Garcia. She’s a hacker and coder who’s super bubbly and has great fashion sense. Her personality is similar to mine and I realised I don’t have to be this boring computer science person to do what she does. Although my major wasn’t in computer science, I actually ended up teaching myself how to code,” she said.

Pop, 23, is based in Southern California, according to Newsweek. “I used to be in the micro influencer space and I was just seeing a lot of changes that Instagram was making and got really tired of it. You know, the algorithm, the overwhelming ads... It just didn’t feel fun anymore,” she told Newsweek.

Should you be on it?

It’s easy to call Hive Social an alternative to Twitter but honestly, Elon Musk’s website doesn’t have an alternative. Over the years, Twitter has built a following among those who want news or want to put across an opinion. Facebook allows it but the algorithm is focussed on what friends and family are interested in while Instagram is more for telling stories. Businessmen to politicians, actors and singers to journalists, a wide range of people are on Twitter and they won’t move to Hive or Mastodon overnight, if ever. But it’s good to see a new platform thrive. Perhaps it will do better if there is a desktop app or website.

Tips for new users

  • Visit your profile page, tap on the settings gear, choose Privacy & Safety, then tap on the Mature Content tab. Toggle off mature content.
  • Make the account private if you want to be visible only to your followers.
  • From the settings page, tap on Music to choose whether or not the song on your profile page automatically plays.
  • Hive allows users to add more than four images to a gallery post.
  • Use hashtags if you want your post to show up in the discovery tab.
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