Hover is a brand new social media app designed to help streamers build their visibility and following from their short-form clips. Haven't heard of it yet? You're not the only one.
But the platform has existed in some form or fashion for little over a year now (their Twitter account dates to September 2020 and their Discord channel dates back at least as far as June 2021). And it's gaining traction, particularly among Twitch streamers. You can sign up for free using this link.
What Is Hover?
Basically, it's a short-form video app that looks and functions a lot like TikTok or Instagram Reels. But it's designed specifically for streamers. It looks like right now, based on the "Gravity Leaderboard" (more on this in a second), there are more than 50,000 users on Hover.
The app currently allows users to connect to their accounts on Twitch, Xbox, and Twitter, but seemingly have plans to expand to many other platforms. Similar to other social media apps, Hover let's you post short clips that users can like, comment on, share, or give a "GG" (aka "good game") to. These are basically like "super likes" and each user can only award two GG's every four hours.
Right now, you can create an account and access it either on your phone or on desktop. The desktop version is more limited though, so if you plan on playing around and creating/editing a profile, mobile is the way to go. Similar to other apps, you can only upload clips up to one minute long.
Why Does Hover Exist?
One of the biggest issues burdening the otherwise booming livestreaming sector is discoverability. Essentially, platforms like Twitch have done a great job of building an ecosystem for people who love to watch long-form livestreams. But when it comes to discovering new streamers, the platform lags behind other services that utilize short-form content for short attention spans.
In theory, it should be easier to get people excited to check out a new livestream. Twitch has implemented several features that should help streamers get in front of new viewers. But those features have, in practice, not really been put to their full potential.
Take Twitch clips, for instance. These are short segments of your live video that users find interesting or fun enough to clip and share outside the stream later. It's a brilliant move, but so far Twitch hasn't really done anything to put Twitch clips in front of new potential viewers.
That's where Hover comes in. On Hover, you can actually directly share your most popular clips from the past 2 weeks as short-form, discoverable content. And because users can actually clip videos for you, that means your users are creating short-form content from your long-form content for you. For people trying to juggle a million things, this is brilliant.
Hover is basically looking to fill a gap in the livestreaming world by making a social media platform that is much friendlier to streaming clips.
How Does Hover Work?
If you've ever used TikTok, Hover will feel right at home to you. As a creator, you have the option to directly upload from your device, upload from a "clip cloud" (where you drag and drop clips on desktop to then upload on your phone), upload Twitch clips directly from Twitch (the 100 most popular over the last two weeks), or upload content from Xbox, PS5, or Switch. It's a super robust selection of options given how early the app is.
Once you upload a clip, users can like, comment, and share it (per usual), or give it a "GG," which is essentially a "super like" that helps boost the content even more. Each user gets to use two "GG's" per four-hour period.
One of the coolest things about Hover is the platform encourages users to follow Twitch streamers directly on the platform. And if a streamer is live on Twitch at the time, Hover actually shows this in the app and let's you click over to watch the stream on Twitch. This is the kind of cross-platform functionality that could do wonders for streamers hoping to gain a signal boost on their streams.
The app also has a "Discover" tab (like TikTok's "For You" page) and a "Feed" tab, both of which function like you'd assume.
Hover also has a point system called "Gravity," which users can accumulate for doing basic things on the app, including posting, liking, commenting, and otherwise interacting with the platform. There's a leaderboard for users accumulating Gravity. According to Hover's Discord server, this function is currently being reworked, so more info to come on just what exactly Gravity means in the grand scheme of things.
Other Functions Unique To Hover
Right now, Hover is also hosting weekly "Clip challenges" with cash prizes. Each week the app has three different categories users can enter clips into. Viewers can watch the clips on the app, with some of the best ones appearing during a Twitch stream.
Viewers then vote in real time for their favorite. Owners of winning clips get prizes — the most common one right now being $250. Categories include things like "Wholesome moments," "Cooking moments," and "stream fails."
The app also gives every user a referral code for having their friends sign up. Referrals equate to more Gravity points, which, as we mentioned earlier, is kind of "TBD" in terms of what that currency means.
Also, every time a user uploads a video, they actually choose the category the video falls under. This gives them a great chance of reaching new people actually interested in their content, opposed to something like a mysterious algorithm.
Hover also has a partner program, but right now there's no way to apply. The only way to become partner on Hover is to use the app a lot. According to Hover's Discord server, "Partners are chosen by a panel of Hover staff after careful consideration of how well they represent the Hover community. There is no application process. If you are interested in becoming partnered on Hover, keep developing your content, post consistently, and engage with the app."
Hover is still technically in beta (the company hopes to be out of beta by Summer 2022), but it's already a really slick app with some cool functionality. And it might just be a powerful answer to increasing discoverability for Twitch streamers.