Last week, Twitter pulled the plug on Vine to an array of mixed emotions. As I mildly lamented the loss of Vine, I happened on a Verge post covering a new app called Hype. Turns out that the guys who created Vine are back with a new app and they announced it here on Medium, a week after Vine was cut. With that, I figured I’d download it and give it a look.

I spent about 2 hours messing around with it, yes, 2 hours — the app has some appeal. So far, users have been tweeting positive responses with Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff tweeting that Hype is “Oddly engaging.” And it is! Fusing your camera, photo album, and text, the app seems to be geared up to take live streaming in a whole new direction.

I’m still exploring the app but so far it feels strangely reminiscent of the early days of MySpace but in a more current, interactive style that is reminiscent of Periscope. So far, what I think is very cool is the possibility of

  • Screen-on-screen images: overlap photos as if strewn across a table
  • Multiple on-screen videos: include a video inset during your broadcast
  • Slideshows: create them on the fly from your camera roll, though you’ll have to scroll during your broadcast
  • Text on screen: add text, much like you would on Instagram stories
  • Messaging: viewers can send responses, view or feature them on screen
  • Add music: my favorite feature, select songs right from your library
  • Search option: find gifs and video to include in your stream

Your broadcasts can be saved for viewers to watch as a “replay” later, but you’ll have to remember to select this and wait for upload once you end your initial stream. I overlooked this, and lost my first broadcast when I closed the app.

With Hype, you’re basically a solo production team on the set of whatever kind of live context you can imagine, from comedy routine to science lesson, pet show to product review, or just being a random person walking through the city.

As with all things in the realm of social media, there may be some concern regarding the nature of content that is broadcast and I wonder what steps are in place for addressing these issues when they appear. Nonetheless, while there may be plenty of comedy and randomness, there’s also plenty of potential to explore in creative communication, and far less noise to cut through at this point in time. The multi-dimensional, mixed-media approach that Hype offers presents exciting opportunities in intellectual communication, education, journalism, marketing, and more. If you’ve imagined launching your own show, news broadcast, or lessons in a new context, now might be your moment to do it. I’m still a newbie at this app, but Hype appears capable of going in any direction, limited only by the imagination of its user.

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