HQ, the live trivia game that is now seeing up to 2 million players per game, is introducing some new social features, including answer sharing with friends.
The company has been testing this feature across a small group of users already, but on Friday the feature will roll out to all HQ users.
Here’s how it works: Users can connect their address book to HQ and add their friends. Once they have added friends, they can see which of their friends are playing the game alongside them. Users can put their own avatar on the answer to a question to share their choice, which is viewable by friends.
The idea is that answer sharing mimics what many people do while playing HQ IRL, yelling out answers to their coworkers in the office or sharing with their friends and family in a bar or at home.
“We understand the power of the crowd and playing together,” said HQ head of product James Ruben. “That doesn’t necessarily exist everywhere. Our goal is to spread that power to people who maybe aren’t playing in the office together.”
This comes on the heels of HQ’s introduction of “Friends on HQ” from April, which let users see friends playing in the same quiz and see their progress through the game. Answer sharing simply takes that a step further.
Interestingly, answer sharing won’t be available on each HQ Trivia quiz. Instead, the feature will debut on Friday of this week, and continue to be available on Friday games.
“We understand that it’s a change to the game play,” said Ruben. “Friday is an interesting time to experiment and try out answer sharing because Fridays tend to be a bit more social than other days.”
Alongside answer sharing, HQ is also adding yet another social layer to the game with Nearby Friends. The feature will allow HQ players to see other people (not in their address book) who are in the same quiz as them and physically nearby, perhaps in the same office building or in the same bar or restaurant.
Finally, HQ is making it easier to upload the address book and connect with friends on the app.
HQ is an interesting business in that it’s taking an almost old-school approach to advertising/sponsorship. As opposed to social networks like Facebook, which collect as much data as possible about users to sell advertisements against that data, HQ is focused more on getting as many engaged eyeballs in the same place as possible, a bit like television advertising.
HQ doesn’t have that much information on users beyond their phone number, device type, username, and other basic information commonly gleaned by app developers. With the introduction of Friends on HQ, the company gets a bit more insight into users. But that’s not necessarily the reason for the update.
Instead, HQ wants to make these games as engaging as possible, and what’s more engaging than competing with or cheering along your friends and family.
The company is also taking a measured approach to advertising and sponsorship, working with partners that make sense for the HQ community and making those sponsorships as native as possible.
For example, HQ recently ran a $250,000 game with Warner Brothers as a sponsor, plugging the film Ready Player One within the graphics and even in some of the questions. The company also had Duane “The Rock” Johnson host a $300,000 game as part of the actor’s promotion of his upcoming movie Rampage.
Answer sharing will be available to everyone on Friday, but easier address book upload and Nearby Friends are soon to come for Android users.