VTubers Move to the Hive—What We Know

What's the buzz in the rising app Hive Social, which at this point have reached more than a million members—VTubers are joining in the Hive-wagon too! Here's what we know about one of the top apps for iOS.

A new social network is getting popular with VTubers this week—app-based Hive Social has several VTubers signed up, three of which include VShojo talents Veibae, Zentreya, Silvervale and Projekt Melody.

Here's what we know about the social network, and how things are going:

The Hive Was First an iOS App

  • Passion Project: According to its profile, Hive began as a passion project in a bedroom June 2019, with its founder Kassandra (Raluca) Pop teaching herself how to code. Four months after that, the first version was released to the App Store.
  • Raluca told Newsweek that funding for the app consist of two personal loans and a US$25,000 angel investment. Crowdfunding through WeFunder is in the process.
  • More than a year after in February 2021, it became one of the top social media apps for iOS. Teen Vogue featured the app with a special mention to its predominant Gen Z audience.
  • Some of its prominent unique features are (1) the option to add your profile music, (2) the option to show your Zodiac sign and preferred pronouns, and (3) its Q&A function.
  • At first glance, Hive Social looks like a mix of Twitter and Instagram with a touch of the old MySpace on the side—but Raluca also told Newsweek she doesn't think of the app as a direct competitor.

What We Know So Far

  • With the current developments at Twitter—including the mass hysteria and a suspension reversal—Hive has accepted a slew of signups which Raluca said has led to a million-strong user base.
  • The number of signups were so highit's being touted as a Twitter alternative if the app does crash down—that the app slows down on some occasions.
  • Forbes' Paul Tassi compared Hive with decentralized social platform software Mastodon: "Mastodon's decentralized social network feels a lot more impenetrable to outside folks, complete with unique instances and tweets that are unfortunately called 'toots.'"
  • Among the first ones to sign up were Sugi, PixOS, and Snuffy. The rest followed, with some having their preferred usernames taken by someone else—Zentreya complained about this on Twitter, but thankfully the name was freed.
  • Pipkin Pippa has successfully acquired the @vtuber username on the app: "[...] I have the best username". Don't you dare believe that official accounts for Hololive and Nijisanji exist there, because they interact with Pippa contrary to how they write their press releases.

Current Issues

Several challenges are posed against the rising Hive, both in terms of management and functions:

  • First, the app is currently run by three people, TechCrunch understands—and when Raluca was asked why she won't name her fellow team members, she said that the sudden traction is "a lot for [the team] to process and they’re focusing on the product itself."
  • As an app-based mobile only platform, links to posts on Hive can be viewed only through the app itself. In short, they don't have a web version yet.
  • Just like Mastodon, there's no option to quote-retweet.
  • Hive Social shares the same name as the project management app Hive.com, leading to confusion—"The real question is...does Hive (us) need an account on Hive (social)??"
  • The confusion went far as rumors of Hive Social's association to Donald J. Trump spread on Twitter, prompting Hive Social to make it clear.
  • Another issue the app needs to clearly address is the employment of one of their staff who tweeted ableist statements on Twitter. Hive said the employee was let go "two years ago" but current records show that he's still with the company.
  • At the moment, Hive does not have a current designated contact information for DMCA notices—which led to yet another confusion in this Twitter thread.
  • As we write this piece, Profile Music "will be ready in one of our following updates."
  • Speaking of updates, Hive has updated its policy to add an NSFW button for those who want to share "nude images that are inherently artistic or creative in process."
  • We also saw several users who has @genshinimpact as their username, referring to the hit HoyoVerse game. Upon checking this for ourselves, we thought usernames were supposed to be unique.

Despite the issues, Hive continues to have an increase of members—the app tweets it has received another 250,000 signups overnight.

So far, the combination of VTuber content on Hive consist of casual posts, art, stream announcements, or Q&As like the case of Projekt Melody. Even Kawa's Kozii and Hunikin are also getting on the Hive-wagon.

Banner Photo from Hive Social