Hive Social has grown to 2 million users and shot to the top of the App Store since people started fleeing Twitter. It's run by a 24-year-old founder and 2 other employees.
- Some users searching for alternatives to Twitter have flocked to Hive Social.
- The platform is run by its 24-year-old founder, Raluca Pop, and two other employees.
The search for the next big social media app is on for some former Twitter loyalists.
Elon Musk's frenzied management style and outlook on content moderation have some Twitter users hunting for alternatives to the social media giant.
While apps like Mastodon and Tumblr have been floated as contenders over the past few days, interest in one app in particular – Hive Social – seems to have snowballed. It's currently the top social app on Apple's App Store, surpassing even TikTok.
An app with just 3 employees
Hive Social has reached 2 million downloads, and the pace of those downloads is accelerating, Hive Social's 24-year-old founder, Raluca Pop, told Insider.
"We've really created and maintained a safe and healthy community. If you get on the app, it just feels really pleasant and relaxed," she said.
Pop, who also goes by the name of Kassandra, said she cooked up the idea of Hive Social while in high school, and it launched in 2019. She is a self-taught coder and had run the social media app with only one other employee until Friday, when a third developer joined the team.
Whether Hive Social is up for becoming the next Twitter is still in the air.
On Thursday, many new Hive Social users reported on Twitter that they were having trouble setting up their accounts. Many users reported seeing several accounts with the same usernames, opening the door for possible impersonators on the app. One screenshot showed 11 accounts with the handle "@elonmusk."
Pop said the duplicate username issue occurred when the company's server reached the "daily capacity" last week and that the "function that prevents duplicate usernames from occurring was disabled because everything else in the app was disabled."
She said they're working to fix the issue.
The content moderation question
One of the most controversial issues facing Musk as Twitter's new owner and CEO is how to effectively promote free speech while still moderating content to ensure no illegal activity or harmful behavior occurs.
Pop said she has plans to moderate content on Hive Social through a combination of algorithms and human moderators, but so far, the app doesn't have any content moderators working on the site.
With funding, she said she hopes to hire more people to help ensure the site filters out certain content like "gore, violence," or child exploitation.
"At the time when I took this on, I had a separate full-time job, but now that I'm able to dedicate myself fully to it... now we're able to take a lot more steps and truly hyperfocus on this, so content moderation is a priority for us because our user safety is a priority for us," she said.
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