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App Review: Hive URL Shortening Service

Introduction

There are times when you want to share links, but they are too long or the place where you want to copy have length restrictions. Made popular by Twitter URL shortening services such as bit.ly and tinyurl.com come to mind. There is another service by the name of Hive which pretty much does the same thing, but in a beautiful way.  Hive also comes with an Android app which you can use, but apparently it is a stand alone application and not connected to the website.

UX, Design and Ease of Use

The website’s overall user experience is well thought out and does not have any unexpected jerks. The design is also pleasing and easy on the eyes. The graphics, theme and layout of the website are attractive and the design team has done a good job. The website is relatively easy to use and the learning curve is quite shallow. Most of the controls have been laid out onto the dashboard for the user to use.

Usefulness

One of the interesting features of this neat app is the password protected links. You can set a password to your link and then share that password with those whom you want, and only they will be able to see what the link contains. You can also set description for the link as per you see fit.

You can assign aliases to the generated links and use them instead of the randomly generated link created by Hive.

The statistics provided by Hive are pretty comprehensive as the following information is shown:

  • recent activities which specify which link has been clicked
  • top links
  • number of clicks per link
  • the countries where your links have been clicked

You can also create bundles and set them to either public or private to only allow those people who you want to be able to access the bundle.

There are a number of plans from which you can choose. The basic plan is free to use provides

  • Detailed analytics
  • Powerful dashboard
  • Access from anywhere
  • Simple link shortening

The Pro plan costs $3 per month and offers

  • All of the basic plan features
  • Additional link optimization
  • Custom splash pages
  • Data export

The pricing of the business plan has not been specified and it offers

  • Pro plan features
  • Branded domains
  • Advanced analytics
  • Linked team accounts

The Android app is a simple app and is a bit limited in terms of features. You can add links to shorten, and favorite them. You can also see their statistics, which takes you to Hive’s website. You can also see which links are popular from the links which you have created from the App.

Problems That I Found

In order to add a link to a bundle you will have to do some work. Go to the dashboard and scroll down to your links. There hover the mouse over the options link and a menu will be shown. If a link is already in a bundle then the bundle’s name will be shown, but if it is not in a bundle then the phrase “Add to bundle” will be shown. Upon pressing this a popup modal will open with the controls to add the link to the bundle which itself is a bit difficult to use.

So far i have found this to be the only way to add the selected link to a bundle. I recommend the development team to improve the user experience of this such that it is not so difficult to do so. Also i recommend them to add the controls to add a link to the bundle in the area where new bundles are created. The discovery of how links are added to bundles was by accident and i had thought that the development team had missed this important feature.

Furthermore the Android app is not linked with the website, that is the links shortened on the website are not downloaded to the app, and the same for vice versa is true. There might be some form of linking as there is an option to add an API key into the Android app, but i did not see any change in behavior of the app after entering the API key. You can get the API key from the settings section on the website after you login. I also did not see any login capabilities into the Android app.

Conclusion

Hive is an interesting piece of software, and this can give the big guys a run for their money if managed well. I recommend the development team to fix the issues pointed out above and they can have a good , well oiled service on their hands.

  • Hive URL Shortening Service Review
    Hive URL Shortening Service Review

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Published on: December 2, 2014

Filled Under: App Reviews

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