The Margin: Thousands looking for Twitter alternative Hive Social are going to the wrong Hive site

United States

What’s in a name? Apparently, a lot of headaches if you’re a project-management company called Hive and people keep mistaking you for a suddenly popular social-media app.

With all the recent tumult at Twitter since Elon Musk acquired the company, many users of the platform have started looking for alternatives. And Hive Social, a platform that says it’s “bringing back what you used to love about social media in a new way,” is emerging as an overnight favorite.

But it turns out that thousands of people looking to join Hive Social have gone to the Hive website, which has the web address, and signed up there by accident. It’s a case of mistaken identity that has sent the Hive team scrambling to sort things out for the confused masses.

“They don’t read anything. They just click and sign up,” said Hive chief marketing officer Zuzanna Wilson.

The New York-based Hive has seen as much as 330% increase in its recent daily web traffic, according to Wilson. And on Monday, it saw close to 4,000 people saw up for its platform — a figure far above the norm.

Hive is designed to help individuals and companies “project timelines, track baselines, and execute comprehensive plans,” according to its website. It offers a 14-day free trial to new users of its platform, but charges $ 12 to $ 16 a month after that for its “teams” plan.

Adding to the confusion: Wilson said that many people are tagging Hive on — where else? — Twitter and pointing to it as a Twitter alternative. She noted that Hive has seen a 1,600% increase in engagement recently on Twitter.

“The majority of these posts are words of gratitude for a Twitter alternative,” Wilson said, “but is also being tagged when there are any issues with Hive Social — logging in, posting, or people are unhappy with Hive Social’s conduct as a company — which could be detrimental to our brand.”

Still, the Hive team has tried to maintain a sense of humor about the situation, as evidenced by this tweet it sent out.

Wilson said that Hive is trying to rectify the sign-up confusion by letting those who joined by mistake quickly cancel their membership. “We’ve now included a form in our welcome emails to make it easier for them to raise their hand, and for us to delete their accounts,” she said.

At the same time, she said it’s not much fun being caught up in the Twitter-alternative maelstrom. “We have our hands full deleting all the wannabe Hive Social accounts,” she said.

Wilson added that her company has reached out to Hive Social, but hasn’t heard back. MarketWatch reached out to Hive Social for comment, but also didn’t receive a response.

Cases of mistaken identity on the web are hardly a new story. Indeed, they go back to the earliest days of the internet. And the team at Hive has been through this challenge before with other companies that have “hive” in their names.

Wilson pointed to the example of a British company called Hive, which is known for smart electronic home products such as programmable thermostats.

She said her company has received many a query from those looking for help with their devices. In one instance, a customer-service representative for the American-based Hive was able to answer a basic question since the rep had the same thermostat system at home. MarketWatch was unable to reach anyone with the British Hive for comment.

Wilson said that if there’s any silver lining here, it’s that people are becoming aware of her company.

“I would love to think if they got a need for a project-management or productivity platform, they will remember us,” she said.