Social media app Hover apparently abruptly shut down on January 5, 2023, leaving thousands of users wondering what happened. With a specific focus on livestreaming visibility, Hover was a rare attempt at increasing discoverability for creators on platforms like Twitch.
After experiencing "network issues" with the app on January 5, users flocked to other social media sites to investigate. Hover's official communication channels on both Twitter and Discord reportedly shut down without a word.
Sentiment across Twitter showed most creators disappointed in the app's apparent demise — but even more frustrated with the lack of transparency around the process.
After all, we’ve been through together?— ObieXD (@ObieXD) January 5, 2023
Not even a courtesy goodbye, @ShareOnHover.
Well! Thanks for helping me get this far as a content creator and establishing my community further on @Twitch.#Hover #Hovergg #damnhomie #RIPHover pic.twitter.com/fMK4OjTUuo
How Was Hover Different
According to Hover co-founder Jake Aronow, he and co-founder Zander got the idea for Hover while playing Fortnite and realizing there was no easy place on social media to share clips from livestreams. They started working on the platform part-time, but then when the pandemic hit, decided to go all-in on the concept.
There were a few key differences with Hover. For one, the platform made it very easy to use existing clips from games as your primary content. In other words, you could directly pull in clips from platforms like Twitch and post them on your profile — an easy way to repurpose content that you already know is catchy and interesting.
The platform also introduced a few additional features like a "super like" button known as the GG button and a simple way to support full-screen videos when rotating your phone. It also routinely hosted clip competitions to promote streamers. It was, in effect, the first niche platform aimed at addressing livestreaming's Achilles heel: discoverability.
Why Did It Fail And Now What?
Well, we still don't have any official word from Aronow, Zander, or anybody else from the Hover team. It's pretty absurd for a platform that had such high visibility among content creators who notoriously talk about their niche 24/7 to just disappear like that.
Anecdotally, most users enjoyed the experience on Hover. That said, the app certainly seemed to be more about networking among streamers than actually bringing in a large user base of non-streamer fans. Ultimately if it's just a bunch of streamers liking and sharing each other's content, you're going to hit a brick wall in terms of growth and usability.
Why it failed is anybody's guess, though eventually companies like Hover either need to make a lot of money or raise a lot of money on the prospect that their growth indicates they will be able to make a lot of money in the near future. A similar app known as Freshcut.gg will no doubt get more attention now.
But ultimately, don't be surprised if a lot of creators sour to the concept altogether. The fact that Hover is just gone without giving creators the opportunity to download or save any of their old content or connections made on the app really does a disservice to the platform's whole point.
It's, unfortunately, another stark reminder to not put too many eggs into any one basket as a content creator. And above all to be sure you own your fan data.