As Twitter’s survival hangs in the balance, a new wave of social media apps are stepping forwards to fill the void.
While many users are moving across to Instagram and TikTok, others are exploring spaces like Mastodon and Parler.
But in the past few days, one newcomer in particular has seen a huge surge in downloads, hitting two million sign-ups this week - Hive Social.
What is Hive Social?
Hive Social is like the lovechild of Twitter and Instagram.
While the format is similar to Twitter, with users having a profile page and sharing statuses which are in turn posted on followers’ news feeds, design-wise there’s also an option to share large images as posts, like Instagram.
Upon sign-up, users choose their main interests so they’re targeted by content relevant to them.
Then, on their profile, there is essentially what, for argument’s sake, looks like a “Twitter” tab and an “Instagram” tab, where your different content types can be shared and seen by other users.
It also includes throwback features like the option to have a song on your profile, akin to the heyday of Myspace.
Perhaps the key difference between Hive and Twitter is the former’s stance on any kind of hate speech, upheld by 24-year-old founder Raluca Pop.
Her determination to make Hive Social a safe environment for its users is perhaps its most significant difference to the preexisting counterparts.
Pop came up with the concept for the platform while she was at high school, and launched the app in 2019. Until now, the self-taught coder was running the app with just one other employee - but she hired an additional developer last week.
Why are so many users leaving Twitter?
Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, we have witnessed a questionable succession of events.
On October 27, day one of his ownership, he dissolved the entire board of senior directors. Later that week, he announced that verified accounts would have to start paying for the privilege.
Since then, the billionaire has fired over half the workforce and reinstated controversial accounts including former US president Donald Trump and rapper Kanye West.
One of the main points of controversy is Musk’s definition of freedom of speech on the platform. There are big questions around how he will moderate content but still enable his vision that users should be able to, essentially, say what they want.
Many stakeholders are still waiting for a definitive strategy on this.
Some users seem to be hanging back to see just how long the platform survives under Musk. Others, like actress Whoopi Goldberg, have totally boycotted the site, removing their accounts within hours of the takeover.