What is Hive Social, the new alternative to Twitter?

As Twitter continues its descent into hell, competing social networks are struggling, way Everyone wants to take its place. If the names of Mastodon or Discord are regularly mentioned as possible heirs to the blue bird firm, a new kid could be great. It’s Hive Social, a platform presented as free and inclusive , which has been gaining momentum for weeks .

In October 2019, the American influencer Raluca Pop, also called Kassandra Pop, tired of algorithms, advertisements and restrictions on Twitter and Instagram, imagined this new generation social network. After several months of work, the girl, then a student, launched the application in June 2019 with the help of a developer.

A “safe space”

And it’s been eminently successful, according to Teen Vogue magazine, which hails Hive as a platform that “combines the beloved features of Instagram and Twitter, with a hint of MySpace nostalgia.” Internet users can publish, share or like statuses, subscribe to other people, put photos or videos, answer questions or join thematic communities. But they can also associate music with their profile, which automatically plays when the page is visited… just like MySpace did at the time.

Presenting itself as a “safe space,” Hive Social relies on security and inclusivity to attract its users. When creating their profile, they can choose one or more pronouns to describe themselves, configure some options to not automatically display photos received in private messages or NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content , that is, say sexual content, which is not all prohibited. on the platform.

However, there is no question of automatically censoring nudity, as Instagram once did. In its charter, Hive Social explains that “nude images that are artistic or creative in nature” can be published, as long as a NSFW mention appears. A statement that will allow this content to be blocked for minor users.

One million users

Another strong argument can convince the most reluctant. Unlike Instagram, Hive does not use a sorting algorithm, posts are only displayed in chronological order. Another big difference is that monetization is not based on advertising content, but on the purchase of additional “blocks” of music: $0.99 for the second, $1.99 for the third or fourth.

Standard that obviously attracted Internet users. As of November 21, more than a million of them have used Hive Social, a figure that has exploded in weeks, the social network said… on its Twitter account.

Thank you who? If Hive Social doesn’t have a reason to thank Jacquie and Michel (of course you do), Twitter is the place to shake hands. Since the arrival of Elon Musk, the California company has gone through a zone of chaos. A flurry that benefited all of its competitors, including Hive Social, which benefited from the exodus of some Twitter users. And for good reason, Elon Musk’s divisive personality and positions have a lot to do with it. Some users, who are not satisfied, left the social network after the announcement of the creation of an 8 dollar subscription, “Blue Twitter”, which allows anyone to get their account certified. Others fear the rise of hate speech on the platform. Among the employees who were fired with the arrival of Elon Musk was a large part of the moderation team, raising fears of a decrease in controls.

A social network still under construction

But this very young social network is still a work in progress. As a result, many bugs have been reported by users. First, it is only accessible on smartphone, iOS or Android, but not yet on the Web, a lack that some users criticize. The app also has security and data protection issues. Two-factor identification, which consists of securing access to your account with a second code in addition to the password, does not exist with Hive Social. Then, to share photos, the application requests full access to your library, which leads to a great risk of hacking.

Another problem is that private messages are not end-to-end encrypted, exposing users to potential hacking. “The trend is more encryption everywhere: Signal and WhatsApp have it by default. And for a long time, Messenger, Instagram or even Twitter will be on this trajectory,” explains Numerama in an article that application oriented. At the beginning of November, users experienced problems identifying or creating an account. For some, it was impossible to create an account, for others, they were surprised to discover identifiers identical to theirs. On November 19, 2022, the company also admitted that “people forced themselves into the system (…) and used circuitous means to get in”.

Hive Social has already promised changes to improve the security and protection of its users’ data. But these updates cost money. When the project was launched, the founder, Raluca Pop, took out two personal loans before accepting $25,000 from an investor, he told Newsweek. In order to operate, the platform also launched a crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder, which has already raised more than $300,000.

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