Facebook is one of websites that comes to mind when most people hear the phrase “social media”. Since it exceeded 1.3 billion active users (as of June 2014) we can assume it does a reasonably good job of giving people what they want out of this type of service.
Even though, Facebook has upset many with features like the inclusion of ads on users’ timelines and privacy policies that have not always been well received. In a sense, Facebook may be a victim of its success. All this begs the question: what are the choices for those who feel that Facebook is no longer the ideal way to meet their social media needs.
Let’s take a look at a few Facebook alternatives:
Ello is a a new service which is populated mainly by artists and designers. Its main advantages are that it has no advertisements, its black and gray design is good for showing off photos and other artwork, it’s free, they promise not to sell your personal information, and users can remain anonymous (you just need an email to register). Disadvantages include that it is an invitation-only site, people who aren’t into art or design might feel left out (at least for now), and some people might find the monochrome color scheme drab.
Diaspora is a social media service configured as a set of independent nodes, so no one person or business owns it. Various different individuals and institutions own each pod. Users can host a pod, or create an account on any pod, from which they can interact with individuals on any other pod (although it is possible to keep a pod private to an individual or group). Posts may be public or for limited access. Among the advantages of Diaspora are: it is free, it is immune to any corporate takeover, development and changes have been placed in the hands of the community (the users), it does not sell personal data, and content cannot be blocked without approval of node admins. Among the disadvantages of Diaspora are that the inability to block content has lead to the use of the site by groups such as ISIS,
Snabbo is intended only for members of the Baby Boom generation. Among its advantages are features which are specially designed to help you find people from your past you may want to re-unite with, a policy of not selling personal information, design elements appealing and useful to older users, and the low occurrence of posts and features which would mainly appeal to younger users. At the same time, the abscence of younger users might put off grandparents and others who want to also stay in contact with younger friends and family members.
As you see there are alternatives to Facebook. If one of those is interesting for you, try it and do the first step and give it a try.