HyHyve creates an engaging and cozy feeling for participants with its beautiful map – without technical interruptions.

Daniel Brans

Networker NRW

Table of Contents

HyHyve and Gather.Town comparison

In this showdown of online event and networking tools, we compare Gather.Town to HyHyve to help you choose the right platform. While Gather and HyHyve may seem similar at first glance, the differences between them are actually quite significant, and you need to know them to make your online event exceptional.

 HyHyveGather.Town
PricingStarts at 0,03€/minute. Per event/month/year pricing on request. Free for small groups. Different plans start at 1$/user for 2 hours.[1]
GDPR✅ German company. GDPR compliant.❌ American company. GDPR compliance shall be discussed.[2]
Most common browsers supported✅ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge.❌ Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox [3]
Platforms supported✅ Desktops (Windows, macOS, Linux), tablets (iPad, Android-based devices), mobile devices (iOS, Android-based devices).❌ Desktops (Windows, Linux)[3]
Broadcast to your participants✅ Yes, speakers can be invited to the stage flexibly .🟡 Yes, but only 100 listeners are recommended. For larger audiences, organizers shall use different services [4]
Record Broadcast❌ No recording feature available.❌ No recording feature available.
Public access✅ Yes, via a public link.✅ Yes, via a public link.
Restricted access✅ Yes, email-based authentication.✅ Yes, with a general room password or email-based authentication.
Custom background picture🟡 Yes, but not recommended.🟡 Yes, but not recommended.
Custom maps✅ Yes, fully customizable, including walls and the option to create buildings/places familiar to participants. ✅ Yes, a fully customizable map in an 8-bit pixelized style, including walls and interactive elements.
Maximum participants per "circle" (ad-hoc conversation)✅ Up to 50 people.🟡 No maximum group size in ad-hoc conversations specified.
Maximum participants per room✅ HyHyve spaces/rooms have an organizational soft limit of 250 participants. Multiple Spaces can be linked. [5]✅ Gather has a maximum capacity of 500 participants per Space. [6]

[1] According to the Gather.Town Pricing.

[2] According to their statement, Gather.Town is not fully GDPR compliant: Are you GDPR Compliant?

[3] Supported devices and browsers of the Gather Town platform: Browser Settings and Permissions

[4] According to their statement, “the spotlight feature is restricted to the first 100 users in that room, and any additional user over 100 will disturb the server connection and degrade everyone’s performance.” (Source: Gather 102: Chapter “Spotlighting”)

[5] We recommend dividing rooms if more than 250 participants are expected to ensure that the rooms do not become overly large and participants “get lost”. HyHyve can provide a high level of interactivity by switching off linked rooms at off-peak times with fewer participants.

[6] Maximum capacity is specified on the Gather.Town Pricing.

This comparison was updated on 06.06.2021.

If you are looking for a Gather.Town alternative, think about...

Is the platform GDPR compliant? Who owns my participants' data?

How do you amaze also professional participants?

Are all of your participants' devices supported?

What is Gather.Town?

Gather Town is a 2D replica of real spaces designed by the event organizer. Gather.Town is an all-in-one communication, event, and networking tool. In an 8-bit pixelized world that looks like a video game, each participant moves its avatar freely using the computer keyboard arrows.

With the tool, it is possible to create planned and ad-hoc/instant video meetings between participants of a Gather “Space” via video and audio. 500 people can participate per Space and join proximity video conversations or Gather “Spots” (particular areas where a limited number of people can interact with each other, e.g., a table with four chairs).[5] Within a Space, admins have the option of starting a broadcast (called spotlight) to all participants of the Space. A chat helps exchange contact details, and the possibility of interacting with content (e.g., g PDF file) rounds things off.

Gather combines the wonderful ability to get together quickly and network in groups with a flexible and interactive Space where external contents like PDF documents or websites can be integrated.

What should I be aware of when using Gather.Town?

Technically, Gather works very well, but there are some areas you should consider as not all of them are related to the Gather.Town tool but the overall event organization and preparation.

The Gather Space and tool design

Gather offers a very structured onboarding experience and the Space editor is easy to understand as an organizer who invests a vast amount of time preparing the event. However, you should be aware that the 8-bit pixelized world, which looks like a 90s video game, can annoy professional participants and cause that people don’t take your event seriously. If you plan to integrate other tools like Zoom meetings, websites, or PDF documents, the integration can be confusing at first, and participants need a little more time to feel comfortable with the platform.

Advice: How to prepare your participants for the Gather Town usage

As the mechanism of “bumping together in a virtual venue” and interacting with content by clicking the “X” key is currently not known to everyone, it’s helpful to have “practice sessions” with your participants in advance (e.g., online networking and after-work session a couple of days earlier). 

Attention: Embedding Zoom meetings is possible but can cause a high workload

You’ll need to embed different Zoom links in the exact Gather locations (e.g., a particular stage) and be aware that you have to swap the URLs several times per event. To exchange an URL, you need to access the mapmaker and change the URL in the “external call integration” objects. The change is done instantaneously, but working without the necessary carefulness could mess up the Zoom meeting. 

Limited mobile and browser support

Unfortunately, the Gather website does not clearly state that the Gather.Town tool doesn’t support mobile devices such as iPhones and tablets like iPads, or other similar devices. Furthermore, it would be best to keep in mind that Apple Safari is only available in Beta, and Microsoft Edge is not officially supported. The Gather app offers official support for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. You can find more information on supported devices on the Gather support website. [6]

Advice: How to deal with the limited mobile and browser support

Although most users are already using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you should consider recommending using one of the supported browsers to your participants. [7] As “clicking on links” leads to the start of the user’s standard browser, ensure that the browser recommendation is communicated often and clearly. As selecting the right browser and joining the Gather space can sometimes be tricky, you can implement a support hotline and or team during your event to guarantee a seamless experience. 

GDPR compliance of Gather.Town

Unfortunately, Gather.Town is a platform of an American Company, and Gather’s servers are located outside the EU. Gather clearly states that they are currently not fully GDPR compliant. [8]

Advice: How to deal with GDPR compliance

Before using Gather.Town, you should discuss the GDPR compliance with your data protection supervisor.

[5] According to their Pricing, Gather offers up to 500 participants per Space. Gather doesn’t specify how many people can interact in an ad-hoc conversation or Spot.

[6] Supported devices and browsers on the Gather Town help website: Browser Settings and Permissions

[7] Market shares of the most used browser versions worldwide in April 2021: Statistics from April 2021

[8] According to their statement, Gather.Town is not fully GDPR compliant: Are you GDPR Compliant?

This section was updated on 06.06.2021.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Gather.Town is supported on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The Apple Safari support is in Beta, and Microsoft Edge is not officially supported. [6]

Besides Wonder.me, there are also other interesting online networking platforms with the possibility of flexible video conversations:

Still not sure which service to choose?

Due to high demand, we have to pause English language requests. However, you can support us!

 

We are looking for English and German speakers to support our Customer Success Team. If you know someone, please send a message directly to thomas@hyhyve.com!

 

Thank you for your understanding and support!

 

In the meantime, if you want to try HyHyve on your own, you can create your own space in the Free Plan on our Pricing page: Setup Free Space on our Pricing Page.

 

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