The HQ trivia app has seen a rapid rise in popularity, achieving a cult-like following in a matter of months. The iOS game app engages users by offering cash prizes to players who prove their trivia savvy in a live virtual game show environment at 9:00 p.m. daily (in addition to a 3:00 p.m. round of trivia on weekdays). As with every app that earns mainstream popularity, countless developers are curious precisely what has made the HQ trivia app so incredibly successful.
Many have speculated it’s the video content that makes HQ such a standout when compared to the dozens of other trivia apps. But this begs the question, why is video content so compelling? How are apps evolving to use video in new ways? And are there drawbacks to using video in apps?
A Use Case: Video in the HQ Trivia App
The HQ trivia app uses live video footage of a game show host for each and every game session. This is just one example of how video has taken the app world by storm, and it’s now apparent that the future will include plenty of video footage, both live and pre-recorded.
HQ’s app is particularly successful because the host can interact with users—a point that makes individuals more likely to participate. After all, the possibility of direct engagement can keep users coming back time and time again.
A live host who appears over video also ups the overall excitement level, thus creating a better overall user experience. In fact, from a psychological perspective, people tend to be more likely to watch a show or use an app if they feel a strong sense of familiarity and even a friendly intimacy with it. For example, morning talk shows select hosts who are friendly and easy to relate to, which results in the viewer feeling as though they “know” the host on some level. There have been numerous instances where a show’s host was replaced and viewership dropped dramatically, proving that this sense of familiarity plays a key role in prompting the viewer to return day after day.
This same concept can also apply to apps, as you have the same individual(s) engaging with users via video. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to forge this sort of pseudo intimacy without video. With this in mind, it’s evident why video has evolved into the wave of the future for in-app content and web-based content alike.
Special Considerations for Using Video in Apps
There are some key considerations you’ll need to keep in mind as you consider whether video is right for your next mobile app development project. Here are a few potential complications that you’ll want to consider and address:
Not everyone has time to watch video. If time is of the essence for your app’s users, then video may not be the best choice. For instance, if you’re developing a navigation and business directory app, then users may simply want to find a certain type of business and get directions—no video required. Or if you do implement video elements, it will be vital that you make it easy for users to skip or fast-forward so the feature isn’t perceived as an inconvenience.
You must ensure the video is working for you, not against you. This is particularly true for apps that feature video in a central role. Keep in mind that this is one area where comprehensive open beta testing and consumer focus groups can be extremely useful, as you can gather feedback from actual users about the exact video content you plan to use. The HQ trivia app provides a good example of this point, as a large portion of negative reviews mention the game show host, who appears in the app’s video content. One user had this to say in an Apple App Store review:
“…I regularly skip games because I do not want to deal with watching the host. The host is the absolute worst. He is so unbelievably annoying and he just rambles forever about nonsense, completely ruining games regularly and making it not fun to play….The host single-handedly makes me not want to play the game, even though the chance of winning money keeps bringing me back…[The host is] making me become less and less interested in continuing to use the app.”
That’s a major problem. Of course, it’s possible—likely, even—that HQ performed comprehensive research into several hosts to find the individual with the greatest appeal amongst the most possible users. But it’s impossible to appeal to everyone, and this is a point you must consider. Would you have greater success by omitting video entirely? For most, video offers a major advantage, even if there are a small number of users who are ultimately alienated. At the end of the day, you cannot be all things to all people. Still, there are some instances where an app could be more successful without video, especially if you choose the wrong video (or the wrong on-air talent).
Fortunately for HQ, there are lots of users who really do like the host. Here’s one example from The App Store:
“Not only do I dig the game, but the host Scott Rogowsky is no doubt setting the bar for game show hosts…The questions can be brutal, yet his infectious, quirky personality has grown on me, and obviously, a plethora of others globally.”
Integrating video in apps—whether it’s live video or pre-recorded footage—requires an experienced developer with a keen understanding of how users will interact with the app’s user interface (UI). At SevenTablets, our developers specialize in emerging technology and the latest development strategies surrounding video content. This includes predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality and natural language processing.
SevenTablets works with clients throughout Texas—including Dallas, Austin and Houston—and beyond. In fact, our clients are scattered across the United States. We invite you to contact our team today to discuss your company’s next development project.
Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!