Trend Alert | Hive Social

Izzy Hall

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest trends that are impacting the daily lives of 16-24s.

What would Instagram look like if it was designed by Gen Z? We no longer have to imagine the answer to this question. Instead, you can simply download the Hive Social app, which was in 2019 by its then-20-year-old founder, Kassandra Pop, and has been growing at an incredible rate after being shared by Gen Z influencers on Twitter earlier this month. It even reached no.1 in the Social Media category on the App Store, and according to Kassandra, grew from 15,000 users to over 340,000 in less than a week.

Due to the sudden growth, users have reported the app crashing regularly. This may change in the months ahead, but currently Hive Social doesn’t have the resource or infrastructure needed to respond to its viral popularity, so it may not be the next Instagram or TikTok. However, there’s a lot we can learn from the positive response to the app by Gen Z, and especially its striking difference to some of the leading platforms of the day.

Teen Vogue described Hive’s features as “new yet old school” and made comparisons to MySpace. Users can post and reshare photos and videos, make status updates, and add a personalised music playlist to their profile. The home feed is chronological, a response to the common complaints about algorithmic home feeds that mean posts aren’t seen unless they are the type of content favoured by the platform’s creators. However, the app also brings in some things users like from the newer platforms, such as monetisation opportunities, but this is done in a more democratic way. All users have the option to post links, in contrast to Instagram, which limits this to creators with over 10k followers or a verified account.

Hive Social’s popularity with Gen Z demonstrates the value of involving young people in the creative and strategic planning process – and this applies to brands of all kinds, not just social platforms. No one understands what digital natives want better than their own generation. Combining this instinct with the input and abilities of an experienced team is extremely powerful, and demonstrates how brands can bring together the strengths of different generations to launch products that not only resonate with Gen Z but are set up for long-term success.

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