So, Vine, Twitter’s looping short-form video was laid to rest for a good old dirt nap last week, just 4 years after being acquired by Twitter. While the site and its existing content remains live, new content can no longer be pushed to the app. As they say in hip-hop, “it was all good just a week ago…”
But, in the spirit of innovation, Vine’s founders have launched a new app, Hype. What in all the get-out does it claim to do? Everything! With an initial launch on Apple iOS, it comes with many bells and whistles: video live streams, emoji integrations, and camera roll videos and stills abound. In its battle to carve out a space between Periscope (Twitter’s Bae), Instagram Stories, Snapchat and Facebook Live, Hype is giving its virtual most to the content party.
Is it effective? Time will tell. I played with it this week, and immediately fell into a dizzying vortex of possibilities. Maybe too many possibilities. It’s flexible, and allows video content creators to have a really slick interface where they can control many variables at once.
How Hype Works
In brief, it can be a broadcasters paradise or Pandora’s box, depending on how you look at it. Users can change their backgrounds so that it fits the messaging of their broadcast. Live video, stills and more can be uploaded from their camera roll. Then, they can choose from one of three frames, or screen shapes (hexagon, star or triangle) to frame their face, or parts of thereof.
Broadcasters communicate with their viewers via a comment bubble which can be tapped and pulled into the content broadcast jamboree by the broadcaster, allowing ease of communication with live viewers. Hype’s comment bubble is an upgrade from the Facebook Live format, which makes it difficult to engage quickly because comments meld into all of the content ephemera that floats on the bottom of broadcasts.
When the Hype user is finally ready to launch their broadcast, they simply press “Go Live!” And how do viewers show love? Well, with GLITTER of course! Viewers can light up the screen by sprinkling virtual glitter on the broadcast, showing their glowing support. Because, glitter is all we all really want, isn’t it?
If you want to stay in touch with broadcasters that you like, you can subscribe to their channel, allowing you to get updates when they go live. If you’re a broadcasterand want to end a broadcast, you simply press “X” in the upper right-hand corner and your broadcast is saved to your camera roll automatically. You can also choose to save it to your Hype profile. But like Snapchat and life, there are no set instructions for how to make the most of the adventure. Which, seems to be part of the appeal for many of the broadcasters, especially those who are agile Snapchat users.
So far, folks are trying it out, to mixed reviews.
You heard it here first: @hype is going to completely revolutionize social media. I'm addicted.
— Mike Diaz (@mikediazfilm) November 7, 2016
Waaaaaaaaaay too much going on, it's like they took all recent apps and threw up on the screen. Nothing will replace Vine 😭😭😭 https://t.co/FTzwjcLddS
— Darcyadelaide (@darcyadelaide) November 4, 2016
I had a great time following the innovations of first adopters, who bravely posted content for us curious onlookers. Damage Little, a “Vine celebrity” of sorts, poured out his heart about why Vine died. And the creepy inserts above his shoulder really spoke to me in an existential way. Think: The VOG but without a voice. “I love the 80’s” was so many things at once and had a spinning Rubix cube at the bottom. A. Spinning. Rubix. Cube. After I stopped trying to make sense of the barrage of images, I just couldn’t stop looking at the broadcast. I mean, who doesn’t love the 80’s?!
For a generation of YouTubers looking for new ways to communicate, Hype will be a major key. By allowing video mavens to interact directly with their fans, shows automatically take on a new sense of immediacy. Look for more to develop, quickly. It seems that in a world full of disruptors, Hype is here for it. We’ll see how it plays out, but my immediate suggestion? Do not Hype and coffee. It would be just too, well, Hype.