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Review: Hang W/ for iOS – A Social Video Experience Like No Other

Rating: 5/5

Posted in Apps, iOS, iPhone, Reviews on 21/03/2013 by Ian Fuchs

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In the past 5 years, the rise in mobile devices has lead to a huge growth in social media platforms for connecting with others in new ways. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and hundreds more all offering a new or different way to let users share parts of their life with the world. Hang W/ blends all the best ingredients of other social networks, and presents it in a beautifully wrapped, feature packed shell.

A Melting Pot of Social Networks

Hang W/ (free in the App Store) is a social video app that allows users to broadcast with the rest of the Hang W/ world. Borrowing elements from some of the worlds most popular social platforms, Hang W/ is a unique app unlike any other.

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Hang W/ is most similar to Twitter, in the sense that users can share their stream of consciousness and discuss anything they choose. Users are able to interact with the viewers during their broadcast by utilizing the chat. Clicking on the chat bubble brings up the comments, and all viewers can interact with the broadcaster or each other.

Another element of Hang W/ that has a strong Twitter vibe is the way users connect. Users are able to follow and view broadcasts from anyone on the platform (whether they are following them or not), including several celebrities that have already jumped on board.  For the more cautious users, Hang W/ also includes account privacy (like Twitter), which allows you to limit your broadcasts to your followers by setting your channel to private.

To keep broadcasts interesting and enjoyable, they are limited to a brief 3-minutes. During the broadcast users can share what they are seeing/doing using the rear-facing camera, get more personal and use the front-facing camera (similar to FaceTime), or blend the two to create a fun and interactive experience.

To borrow an element from YouTube, after a user completes a broadcast, they can choose to add it to their “Top 6″ which allows users who missed the broadcast to watch the archived video after the broadcast is finished. Users are able to select their favorite 6 (or less) and can swap them around as newer broadcasts come along. YouTube has also become a way for many to make some money, and Hang W/ is also looking to keep that idea alive.

The Added Value

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Before viewing any broadcast, there is a 5-second ad  which displays as the stream loads. This is not only used for buffering the stream of the broadcast, but also to help support the app and broadcasters. While ads can be annoying, Hang W/ is promising that broadcasters will get a cut of the ad revenue. While you do have to meet a certain dollar amount before being paid, setting it up is simple, requiring only a PayPal account or address for check-by-mail.

Because of this feature, the more a user broadcasts and the more followers they have, the higher the potential for earning some money. When is the last time Twitter sent you a paycheck for tweeting? This element of Hang W/ makes the idea of broadcasting that much more appealing, and adds a true value to your use of the app.

Verdict:
Rating: 5/5

I’ve been using Hang W/ since it was in beta testing, and the fun never seems to end. Not only can you see people and places around the world, but the ability to chat in real-time with the broadcasters and each other creates a very powerful and intimate networking tool. In a month of testing, I saw soccer games in England, Super Bowl parties in LA, hair cuts in Atlanta, the beautiful English countryside, and even hung out in a bubble bath. Hang W/ has also allowed me to network with people, both in the US and overseas in a more personal way that any other social platform. While Twitter is an increasing stream of news and noise, Hang W/ puts the social back in social network.

Pros:

  • Easy and fun to use and get setup
  • Earn money by being active (broadcasting)
  • Connect with others in real-time
  • Ability to share archived videos to Facebook and Twitter

Cons:

  • Delay on stream can be confusing at first
  • Audio/Video sync issues with archived videos (developers are working on a fix)

Come Hang W/ us, you won’t regret it. Check out Hang W/, free in the App Store.



  • Alltarheeldan

    I want in!

Author

Ian Fuchs

Ian, Senior Review Editor at MacTrast, has been an Apple enthusiast for years, starting in 2000 with an iMac and iMovie. In college, Ian developed skills and further interest in all things Apple. Ian's expanding skill set increased his love for Apple's products. Now the owner of "the new iPad", iPad mini, iPhone 5, Apple TV, MacBook, MacBook Pro, numerous iPods, and a classic G5 Mac Pro, he is "pretty familiar" with Apple's products. Ian resides in Chicago, works as a Programmer & Systems Analyst at a college, loves his dog more than most people and plays drums & guitar.