Tragically, social networking platforms are poorly regarded in the region.
More than 1,000 online users were surveyed by the Washington Post in November 2021, and the results showed that 72% of respondents lacked confidence in Facebook’s ability to handle their data and personal information appropriately. More than 82 percent of respondents said they find targeted online ads present on all social media platforms to be obnoxious, intrusive, and useless, and over 60 percent doubt TikTok and Instagram’s capacity to do so. Failures like the large data breach Facebook suffered in 2022 have made these emotions even worse.
According to Zaven Nahapetyan, a social media specialist and the creator of Web3 social networking platform Niche, more individuals than ever are seeking social media alternatives that value security and privacy.
The creators of these emerging platforms are responding to that demand and, in doing so, are revolutionizing social media.
1. True: anonymous, non-targeted conversation threads.
Bret Cox founded the social media platform True in Mill Valley, California, in August 2022 with the intention of providing users with an ad-free, private space.
Users of the True app can converse in either public or private threads. But True’s primary product is private threads. These threads can be started by only two individuals or by hundreds, but they can only be joined by those who have been invited one at a time by the thread’s author. No private threads are accessible through web searches or even by other app users.
Ads will never be supported in the app’s private discussions, according to Cox. The advertisements that are now displayed in the public threads are determined by the user’s initial indication of interest in the True app. Cox has also observed bloggers and creators promoting their courses in open discussions, and he believes that this may eventually result in money for True.
Over 10,000 people have already downloaded the app. Former Microsoft senior vice president Paul Maritz just donated $15 million to True.
2. BeReal: honest messaging and content.
Ultra-curated photographs are no longer appealing to younger customers. Adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are the main users of BeReal, a picture app that requests users share an unedited, unfiltered photograph once per day, according to a Statista article from August 2022. According to reports, the program acquires at least 20 million downloads across the region.
BeReal is a platform that only lets users view images shared by their friends. Former GoPro workers Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau are the ones who found it in December 2019.
According to Nahapetyan, “new social applications like BeReal provide users greater control over who sees what they post, making them feel more comfortable posting things that they would not feel like publishing on Facebook or Instagram.”
BeReal officially forbids accounts from using the app for advertisements, which forces businesses to come up with more creative—and intrusive—marketing strategies. Chipotle published a picture of a takeaway bag in May 2022 that has a reusable coupon written on it. The first 100 people who saw the promotional code were eligible for a free dinner. According to the daily email firm Morning Brew, they use all 100 coupons in just 30 minutes.
3. Mastodon: decentralized content without ads.
Many Twitter users have flocked to Mastodon, an ad-free microblogging network founded by German software engineer Eugen Rochko in October 2016, after Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022. As of November 2022, according to Rochko, the site has over a million active users.
Numerous servers operate the open-source software that powers Mastodon, and the platform hosts thousands of social networks. Users can select an open-ended or a server that puts focus on a particular subject when they first sign up for the site. There are privacy choices, community rules, and privacy policies on every server. When necessary, the server hosts remove and filter material.
Additionally, Mastodon fosters a culture of discourse, so it is unlikely to well receive heavily commercial content. As a result, companies and company owners that use the platform frequently choose a community-first strategy rather than a conventional marketing strategy in an effort to establish meaningful connections with their target demographic.
4. Post: insightful discussions and first-rate news pieces.
In November 2022, Noam Bardin, the former CEO of Google-affiliated Waze, released the beta of Post, a competitor to Twitter. More than 610,000 users had signed up for the platform’s queue, Bardin said a month later.
Post aspires to promote courteous, meaningful dialogue between acquaintances, total strangers, leaders, and subject-matter experts. However, Bardin also intends to roll out a news-only stream with content from premium providers. Thanks to this feed, users will be able to simply explore the most recent news without having to subscribe to specific media sources.
The Post does not anticipate relying on advertisements and instead plans to utilize micropayments to commercialize those news pieces and reward highly engaged readers. Bardin slammed the Evening Standard in a November 2022 interview for social media companies’ reliance on advertising. He said that many of today’s ad-based platforms prioritize grabbing users’ attention over everything else, which “sows instability in our society, amplifies the extremes, and mutes the moderates.” We cannot cede the town square to radicals since there are already enough outlets for them to do so. The post aims to give voice to the silent majority.
5. Diem: genuine venues for community building and information exchange for women and nonbinary people.
Diem, a privacy-first social search engine that went into beta in January 2021, enables women and nonbinary people to directly exchange news and information while also discussing their experiences. CEO and co-founder Emma Bates develops the platform to counteract the performative material and click-bait headlines that are frequent for this demographic.
There are presently around 20,000 people on the Diem waitlist and roughly 3,000 users. Although users have the option to create both public and private community spaces, only through hashtags or interests can one access the public communities. According to Bates, community spaces may also serve as venues for events. #LICERAMedia