January 2019

HQ Trivia’s success and building a similar app


Games are live streamed weekly where players get 12 questions to answer with 10 seconds each, those with all correct answers split the prize pool evenly. This is the second viral app created by Vine founders Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll and the app was released for Android this past week following it’s successful start.

HQ Trivia

The success of live streaming applications

Mobile apps with live video features have been crawling out of the woodwork the past years. Aside from HQ Trivia (and of course Instagram, Facebook and Periscope), there are quite a few other apps which have made their success through niche features:

  • Spotlite: A live streaming app that allows people to broadcast their talent and earn money through the gifting model, which is quite popular in Asia.
  • Live.ly: A live-stream platform allowing you to broadcast your life to the world as it happens, also including a gifting model.

We have previously covered the booming popularity in social live-streaming in China, where some users stream hours of their lives per month and earn money through virtual gifts sent by fans.

Building an HQ Trivia clone

After the success of HQ Trivia, we have received many questions regarding what is required for building a similar app for either local or niche markets. Aside from, of course, the development resources needed for constructing the app, you would at the bare minimum need an SDKs supporting live video playback using an RTMP input.

Bambuser’s CTO, Martin Storsjö, listed adapting to network conditions, scalability and protocol support as technical pain points that developers are faced with when they decide to integrate live streaming in a mobile app. SDKs can help achieve scalability by providing solutions to certain problems or needs, reducing extra development time for own-built solutions.

Since HQ Trivia uses a one-to-many stream for broadcasting each gameshow, the live stream could be broadcasted using a 3rd party software and streamed via RTMP to Bambuser. The Bambuser Player SDK will let you play the stream in your native app during the gameshow for app users to participate.

Aside from video SDKs, in order to get a social aspect in the game, you can implement this type of feature with in-app messaging SDKs. We previously noted, Layer and SendBird, as viable alternatives for adding chat funtionality in this post.

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