- Live game show app HQ Trivia added social features in its latest update to inspire more interaction among peers and ignite greater competition. "Friends on HQ" lets players find and connect with friends and family inside the app, according to TechCrunch.
- The game introduced the feature in the U.K. on Tuesday with a planned rollout in the U.S. coming soon, the company said. Users who connect with each other can keep track of everyone's scores and discover which friends are playing a particular game.
- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will host the afternoon HQ Trivia game on Wednesday with a grand prize of $300,000, the biggest amount of money the mobile game show has offered so far, People announced. The actor will appear alongside regular host Scott Rogowsky in the 3 p.m. EDT show as part of his press tour for the upcoming film "Rampage" that premieres on April 13.
HQ Trivia demonstrates how marketers can engage audiences with live gamified content, and it continues to gain steam as more smartphone users hear about the live trivia show and its growing pot of cash prizes, helping it to attract celebrities and brands. The app, which was started by the creators of short-form video app Vine, is seeking additional ways to engage its audience of over 1 million monthly users and monetize it with sponsors, special hosts and native advertising in each live show.
Adding social functionality is a smart move for the game show, as this is a solid way to keep people inside its app to share their enthusiasm for the game with friends and family instead of migrating to other platforms like Facebook or Snapchat. HQ Trivia's update banks on the notion that additional social features will support greater interaction and capture the attention of a wider group of consumers. It's not hard to imagine that more traditional social media platforms will take a page from HQ Trivia and develop similar live interactive programming to further engage their respective users. As the game works to monetize its app, a loyal user base that's willing to tolerate sponsored messages in order to play for free will be necessary.
Last month, Warner Bros. and Nike signed up as the first two sponsors of HQ Trivia. Warner Bros. made a $3 million deal to promote three upcoming movies, including Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" that premiered on March 29. Johnson's movie "Rampage" is the second film promoted by the film production studio on the mobile app. Because players participate directly in the twice-daily game, which manages to regularly gather a large live audience around the same content, the game appeals to sponsors like Nike and Warner Bros. because they can deepen engagement with the programming and potentially increasing viewability of their sponsored content.