Zoosk Labs debuted Lively in July 2016 as a dating app that enabled users to search for potential matches by browsing story collages made up of their videos and photos; it evolved into a group video-chatting app geared toward millennials. However, the developer said there was one missing element: Users didn’t know how to initiate conversations with other users.
On Monday, Lively kicked up again—this time, as a team trivia app that incorporates several of the features that made HQ Trivia soar in popularity. However, rather than luring users with cash prizes, Zoosk senior vice president of product Behzad Behrouzi said the bait is the potential of connecting with fellow players via postgame video-chatting, adding that the goal was to “refocus the product to focus on connection.”
Behrouzi said the last version of Lively as a group video chat app yielded mixed results, with some conversations lasting up to one hour, while others stalled in awkward silence.
Video chat apps have had a tortured history. Perhaps the poster child of social-video-chat-products-gone-awry: Chatroulette, the website where people would randomly engage with others via video. As you can imagine, the theoretical didn’t mix well with the practical: Folks going to the site to meet other people instead met, well, genitals. A slew of other video chat companies came and went, including Airtime, Rounds, Runfaces—the list goes on.
Zoosk is trying to capture a little bit of the social trivia magic, but in the event of failure, it still has its core product.
In the revamped app, there are two half-hour sessions at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET. Players can join at any time during the session, and they will automatically be placed into teams of two through four players who compete as a team. Players can also add Snapchat-like face filters.
Games last 12 questions, and teams learn their overall ranking when they’re finished competing (the ranking will change as other teams complete their sessions). Behrouzi explained that players can continue chatting after the game ends and will be prompted to add each other as friends.
According to Behrouzi, trivia is just the start for the revamped Lively platform, and Zoosk will examine other potential activities. He added that the feature also ties in to Zoosk’s dating app and site, with the developer able to apply learnings and users more easily able to identify compatibility with other users.