In the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, users are fleeing to other social apps like the open source microblogging platform Mastodon and niche communities like CounterSocial. Now, another social app called Beehive is see a boost in registrations in response to the turmoil on Twitter. The app is today in the top 20 of the US App Store after a surge in new interest over the weekend, as the situation continues to evolve on Twitter.
Founded in 2019 by the then 22-year-old Cassandra 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 well as combining drafts from various social networks, including both Instagram and Twitter and even MySpace – the latter thanks to a feature that allows Hive users to add music to their profiles, among other things.
The app isn’t just timeline-based like Twitter, either. In addition to the main feed, Hive’s users can explore their interests in a range of topic-based communities such as science, technology, cars, music, fashion, pets, crafts, books, travel, gaming, art, food, and many others. Here, users can like, comment and repost the shared content, similar to other social networks, and click on hashtags to dive further.
In some ways, Hive may feel more comfortable for former Twitter users looking for a new home, as 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 the social network, a tab for accessing your profile and another tab for your notifications, for example. In the middle there is a button to create a new post.
Hive also uses the same follower-based model as Twitter, as opposed to the two-way friendship model you’d find on a network like Facebook.
However, unlike most social networks, Hive eschews personalization algorithms in favor of a chronological feed and does not monetize 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 gains ground in the weeks leading up to Musk’s takeover of Twitter and the days after. According to data from app intelligence company Sensor Tower, about 214,000 of Hive’s total of 733,000 lifetime installs on iOS and Android have arrived in the past 30 days alone. Note that Hive seems to have caught the attention of people outside the US — its non-US installs account for about 86% of Hive’s total downloads, Sensor Tower said.
Data.ai’s estimates are broadly in line with Sensor Tower’s, as it sees more than 720,000 lifetime installs as of November 20, but sees a higher number – 370,000 – coming from the US
The app saw another surge in signups, starting on Friday and continuing through 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. Although Trump has not yet tweeted, proverb preferring his own app Truth Social, it seems Musk’s move was enough to encourage even more Twitter users to look for alternatives as they consider jumping ship.
Sensor Tower’s data indicates that Hive has received approximately 144,000 new installs in the past few days (Friday, November 18 through Sunday, November 20, 2022). 22,000 of those installations came from the US alone, it says. During this time, the app also jumped from the number 338 overall iPhone app in the US App Store to become the number 17 app today. In the UK it is No. 17 and it is No. 24 in Canada.
The app was also the #3 app in the US social networking category at the time of writing, according to Sensor Tower.
According to reports on Hive’s TikTok, the app crashed last weekend another 80,000 people signed up to view it. Since this morning, Hive’s Twitter account reported the app now has a total of “nearly 900,000” users logged on. (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 #Elon Musk #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% of them from the US, according to Sensor Tower data. This increase can be attributed to the founder’s decision to pay a TikTok influencer to create a video, which resulted in some 250,000 installs in a matter of days. she claimed to be printing at the time.
Hive’s appeal may not be solely due to its mix of social networking concepts or its ease of use compared to signing up for Mastodon, which has left some would-be users confused who don’t understand how to choose a server or some “fediverse” resources . As with BeReal, Gen Z seems more drawn to newer social networks run by indie founders, not launched by big tech brands.
The app was before spotted raising money on WeFunder but has not made any official fundraising announcements. (The app, which is available on Hivesocial.app, should not be confused with the older Hive Social app, formerly hosted on hivesocial.com and promoted by “The Bachelorette” contestant Peter Kraus.)
We had trouble getting Hive on Twitter through search, where it ranks 30th for a search for the keywords “hive social” (without quotes) and doesn’t show up at all when you search for “hive app.” Sus! The actual Twitter account for the app is “@TheHIVE_Social,’ but even a search for ‘thehive_social’ specifically returns only the Twitter account of the founder (Raluca is her Romanian name).
Hive had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication. Soon after, Kassandra Pop replied with the most recent stats as of today, November 21, 2022, 12:52 PM PT. She said it had more than 400,000 logins as of Thursday night and the app currently has 998,000 users.
Update: As of 4 p.m. ET, the app has reached one million users, she said. The header has been updated to reflect this change.