DigitalAdBlog was able to snag an exclusive interview with the founders of The HangWith App who developed “the most advanced live-streaming mobile and social experience on the planet!” Hangwith enables users to seamlessly follow their close friends and favorite celebrities in real time!
Hang W/ App Screenshot
1. What makes the Hangwith App unique and what keeps users hooked?
The ability to connect live with other people around the world, and in the moment is truly unique. Other forms of social media like Facebook and twitter are great for sharing what happened in the past. But hang w/ is the only one that shares what’s happening right now, at this very moment. And because the viewers can chat back with the broadcaster as the moment is being shared, the result is a completely unique social media experience. Also, we borrowed from the Twitter model that allows anyone to follow anyone. The result is that we’ve seen tens of thousands of unique relationships flourish from people meeting each other here on Hang w/. Because of this authentic and genuine connection, users get to know each other and they keep coming back. The app truly allows you to “Hang w/” other people, no matter where you are and no matter where they are.
2. How did you come up with The HangWith App? How long did it take to develop and what were some roadblocks you overcame during the journey?
The HangWith App was incubated by MEDL Mobile, a company that builds custom mobile apps for many brands, entertainment companies, and celebs. Over the years, we’d built lots of apps for celebs who were looking for a way to truly connect with their fans via mobile. It’s like every time they asked us to build an app, what they were really saying was “I want a way to connect with my fans.” After hearing this request over and over again, we decided to roll up our sleeves and solve the challenge with a single platform.
We asked ourselves what do fans want from their favorite celebs, and the answer was clear. They wanted to hang out with them. Thus, the idea for Hang w/ was born.
The HangWith App technology itself was very challenging to build, and it was years after we first dreamed up the concept that the first beta version was developed. Once we began development, however, the product came to life quickly. We started real development in the fall of 2012. By December we had a prototype. By January we had the first beta version. By March, we had nearly 1,000 people using the beta. People were calling, emailing and constantly asking us if they could try it out. We decided to put it up on the app store to see what would happen. And the rest is history.
3. What demographic has adopted hangwith – who is your largest audience?
Musicians have really taken to the HangWith App. There’s something about a musician that’s different from other kinds of celebs. They live their music. Their real life identity is inseparable from their musical identity. So they are very comfortable going live and sharing with their fans at any moment. It’s also a great platform for musicians to just hang out and jam, or work in the studio, and get constant feedback from the fans. Within the music community, we’ve become especially popular with the hip hop scene. Rap artists, beat makers, and hip hop producers are always on the cutting edge of technology, looking for what’s next. So it makes sense that they, and their fans, have adopted Hang w/.
4. What are some of the new features that have been added and are there future updates coming soon?
As the product has evolved, we’ve continuously improved upon it – for the most part adding features that our users themselves have been asking for. Some of the changes have been behind the scenes, and sometimes those behind the scenes changes allow us to change the front facing technology.
For instance, we’ve had approximately 3,000,000 live broadcasts. That’s a LOT OF CONTENT! So we created a back-end tool that helps us track the most popular broadcasts according to what’s being liked and viewed. That back-end tool helped us create the new Discovery section that features the best content from across Hang w/.
We also just launched a web platform that allows users to enjoy all of the benefits of Hang w/ from their desktop computer.
Although the big feature that’s coming next that has us most excited is user-to-user messaging. We’ve seen so many relationships flourish in Hang w/ – but if one member of the relationship isn’t broadcasting live, there’s no way for these people to connect. Now all of our users will be able to connect at any time within the application.
5. What Celebrities use HangWith and what are they saying about the app?
Hang w/ has attracted hundreds of actors, athletes, musicians and brands including 50 Cent, Ali Landry, Cheech and Chong, Claudia Jordan, Coco Crisp, Jamie Kennedy, Josh Reddick, Julius Thomas, Kaskade, Larry the Cable Guy, Lucy Hale, Mike Metzger, Soulja Boy, Tony Orlando, Terrell Owens, Timbaland, UFC and Ultimate Poker.
50 Cent has said that Hang w/ fits seamlessly into his overall business strategy and see’s it as a way to use it to promote his headphones, apparel, energy shots, film and TV projects, his boxers, and even his philanthropic endeavors!
Super producer Timbaland has said that he has seen the power of social media and how a simple tweet or Instagram pic can bring awareness to an album and thinks Hang With takes things to the next level. He believes the entertainment industry will line up behind this application and intends to be at the head of the line.
Larry the Cable Guy loves his fans and uses the app to bring them behind the scenes in all aspects of his life, from the green room on the Jay Leno Show to on the set while he films his latest movie. He even put his iPhone right on top of the director’s camera so that fans could see what the director of the movie was seeing.