HQ Trivia — Making Trivia Great Again

What do Jeopardy and HQ Trivia have in common? Well, they both are played daily, promise cash prizes, and have hosts that lure in their target audience with wit, charm, and a sparkle in their eye. Trebeck with a strong hold on 65+ and Scott Rogowsky making millennials all over the world fall in love with dry humor, intelligence, and a sharp dressed man. Okay, you might be asking yourself what the hell is HQ Trivia…?

Well, HQ Trivia is a new app created by Vine (RIP) co-founder that host a twice(weekend only once) live trivia game show on iPhone and Android devices. Contestants tune into the app for a chance to split a cash prize of at least $1,000 by simply answering 12 question in a row correctly. How hard could that be right? The last three times I have played the prize pool has split been between nine, ten, and eight contestants….of the 100K plus that started the game. That’s a mere .008% of contestants walking away with a prize and a well-deserved ego boost.

So what is so special about this app that has your friends and family texting you that the game is about to go live or that you should download the app using their code? ….



I could get into the science of user behavior, engagement, and addiction but I don’t think that would be appreciated, oh and I don’t really know all that much about it.

As a user though this app hits a home run on so many levels for me. Let’s start with the fact that they took literally the simplest concept and turned it into an addictive app that has you planning your schedule around the 12 minutes the app requests of its users twice a day. That’s right where apps and website are struggling with how to keep the user coming back and staying longer HQ trivia says “Screw it, all we need to do is keep the user entertained for 12 minutes at a time”. The app uses hip and fun animations and transitions throughout the user experience and most notable in the 2:30-second countdown that occurs before each show — no seriously there are people begging for ringtone made from the final 10 seconds —

— The best part of the countdown is not the start of the game but rather the introduction to Scott Rogowsky HQs charismatic host that has so many individuals coming back day in and day out….no really

Even Google has seen users flocking to their site to understand who this man is!

The game moves from an interesting monologue directly into the first question, where users have 10 seconds to answer a question read aloud and shown on the screen accompanied by three multiple choice answers. Select the right answer move on, if not…enjoy the show. The questions start off relatively easy like “What was the name of the ship that carried the pilgrims to America?” or “Pad Thai is a noodle dish from what country?” However, by the 4th or 5th questions users start dropping like flies. With some questions dropping 30,000–40,000 users in 10 seconds — prompting the “Savage Question” animation and soundbite.

I have to admit that I have not actually made it past the 5th questions, but god damn I will one day. I did however pull over the other day while driving just so I can play along. Once I was out, I kept the app open to listen to the questions and well, Scott too. It is just that entertaining and dare I say addicting.

Let’s face it our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter with each passing day. This is the reason Facebook has put ads in the middle of the videos because they know we will just skip the video altogether if we have to wait at all, Snapchat knows we can’t be bothered to look at the same picture for more than 10 seconds, and why everyone on a subway car is staring at their phone rather than holding a conversation. Scientist say our attention span is less than that of a goldfish, and I can’t really argue with them on that. So is that why this Trivia HQ is blowing up? Simply put yes.

Don’t think for a second that this app was just an idea that a few developers threw together an MVP for and placed on the app store. The level of thought and science that went into how this app can captivate and engage users cannot be understated enough. It is the reason for its overnight success and devout following. Sure the app could be just another fad like Vine or YikYak, but for the moment it seems to be a freight train gaining speed heading up a hill with no sign of stopping anytime soon.

…So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and see what all the fuss is about!