For Yalies wondering where their friends are when posting on social media, a new application may provide an answer.
Two Yale entrepreneurs are officially launching Hive, a new social media application, on April 10. James Park ’17 and Rijul Gupta ’15 have spent the past three and a half months developing Hive, which automatically tags and sorts posts on the app in real time by geographic location. Though its interface is similar to that of Instagram and Yik Yak, Hive’s founders say the app’s geographic “tagging” uniquely draws users into their surroundings. Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at the Yale School of Management Kyle Jensen said Hive has the potential to be a resounding success.
“It sounds like a wonderful, plausible idea — linking communication with current location,” he said. “The app is based on a very interesting concept, and it ultimately could change the way students interact with the world around them.”
Hive is the third iteration of Park and Gupta’s original idea, though Gupta said it is the first version to be made public. He added that Park and he hope Hive will be used for “intelligent communication” and to spread the word about happenings at Yale.
Park said that Hive, unlike most applications, places a heavy emphasis on information generated right around individual users.
“If you’re sitting in a TED talk at Yale, you could pull out Hive and view the feed centered on just that talk,” he said. “Then you could go to neighborhood mode and see all the posts within your neighborhood, or Yale View and see all posts within Yale.”
Todd Hagen, a research assistant in the Department of Psychology, said an individual’s preferences on social media will determine whether they use Hive. Hagen added that Hive could act as a useful platform for crowd-sourced intelligence.
Student opinion appears divided on Hive’s utility. While nine of 20 students interviewed said that they would be interested in using the app, eight said they would not. Three students had no opinion.
Soraya Conille ’18 said she likes that Hive would enable people in the same area to communicate in a new way and said she would try it out because “it is a new thing.” However, she said she is worried that Hive could lead to a decline in face-to-face communication.
Huri Fujimoto, a visiting graduate student, said he would use Hive because it would provide him with information he would otherwise not be able to gather himself. For example, he said he could simply check Hive to find out how crowded Bass Cafe is.
Park said he and Gupta hope to approach the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute once their app has 100 users to further develop their idea.
The Hive founders will be holding an open launch party for Hive on April 17 at the Sigma Nu fraternity.