Is Hive really an alternative to Twitter?
Who will replace Twitter? Mastodon imagines itself as an alternative since 2016. But since 2019, there’s another competitor that’s been making a lot of noise lately: Hive Social. But negative feedback calls for caution.
” 1,000,000 friends and counting! “. On November 21, 2022, the Hive Social Twitter account posted a tweet full of satisfaction. ” Thank you to everyone who followed us, joined us, shared their posts and profiles […] and more has given us incredible support », we can read in the message.
Never heard of Hive Social? Not too surprising. This is a relatively young social app, with its roots dating back to October 2019 – with the release of the app on iOS. And on its official website, Hive Social puts the debut of the service in June 2019, with the start of development.
An app between Twitter and Instagram
Hive Social has been getting a lot of attention since November, not because of its merits, but because Twitter is going through a period of intense turbulence after Elon Musk took over the community site. The hype is also benefiting others: Mastodon, a free and decentralized social network, is also benefiting from the relative exodus of internet users.
Today, many are considering leaving Twitter and choosing an alternative path: because Musk’s personality is so divisive, Twitter may disappear because controversial accounts are unpopular. The excuses are varied. But Hive Social also has its drawbacks as you have to take a clear look at Mastodon’s strengths and weaknesses.
The sudden focus on Hive Social has resulted in several comments on Twitter mention the features of the service and what makes them happy, but also what is wrong. For example, Hive Social is described as a cross between Twitter (we post statuses), Instagram (we share photos) and Curious.cat (we answer questions).
The interface is quite beautiful, colorful, there are tabs to find the latest trends, publications that are relevant to us or sections by topic. There are also notifications you can enable. The app also introduces new features like a music profile and introduces itself a welcoming, inclusive and protective place.
Nice app, but that’s not all
But other internet users also falls within the limits Hardly tolerable for a service launching in 2022. For example? Strong authentication, which involves providing access to your account with a second code in addition to your password, is not available on Hive Social. However, this feature is general and greatly improves account protection.
Another weakness: private messages it is not end-to-end encrypted (which is not the case for Twitter and Mastodon), which potentially exposes them to outside scrutiny. Still, the trend is toward encryption everywhere: Signal and WhatsApp have it by default. In the long term, Messenger, Instagram or Twitter are on this trajectory.
Absence of a data protection officer is also highlighted, although this is a requirement set by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Another loophole: the lack of a web version of Hive Social. Everything goes through one app, on Android and iOS. This may be less critical than the other points, but this loophole has been noted.
On iOS, critics have also noted the broad permissions Hive Social allows itself by requiring access to all photos on a smartphone. On Android, these permissions are not disclosed during installation and registration. The app is still in beta and is plagued with various bugs – a problem that can also be found on iOS, despite its older development.
An additional feature of the project is that Hive Social, which is still far from complete, has acknowledged the problem with repeating the ID of new accounts, which should be unique, unlike a pseudonym that can be changed, for example. The identifier should allow to distinguish accounts between them so as not to be confused with the interlocutor.
Hive Social had this problem, service received on November 19. “When we were offline, people broke into the system and used a backdoor to get in,” the site tweeted. Then a promise was made to resolve these unwanted duplicates: generating a number at the end of the identifier is a track.
The list of criticisms can be continued for some time. On this other topic, Ricky Mondello, a software engineering manager specializing in the authentication process at Apple, pointed out the rather sketchy operation of creating a password in Hive Social. There was also no support for special characters.
The general impression is that Hive Social is not fully – like this other exchange between the Internet user and the application regarding a problem with the search for contacts, which is related to the use of capital letters or an error that occurs when the application is temporarily offline. Therefore, the idea of making it a major alternative to Twitter seems premature.