Alternatives To Facebook


Facebook Alternatives

Facebook has been under relentless attack since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. Broadcasters and news publishers have declared open season on Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and other senior executives at the company. And while not quite ubiquitous, #deletefacebook pops up every time there’s a story about data privacy. The EU has fined them, the US is trying to figure out how to regulate them, and the notion that free services should be absolutely free (as opposed to checking a box on a terms and conditions page that allows the free service to use your data as payment) is gaining traction.

Whether or not Facebook deserves the scrutiny it is under is a great topic for another article. Today, I want to have a look at alternatives. If you don’t like Facebook, what might work for you? Is the time right for the reemergence of focused social networks?

A Brief History of Social Networks

Friendster (a portmanteau of “friend” and Napster) launched in March 2002. It was the most popular social network until April 2004, when MySpace (which premiered January 2004) surpassed it. In July 2005, Newscorp purchased MySpace for $580 million, and by 2006, MySpace not only was the most popular social network in the US, it was the most visited website in the US. Interestingly, Twitter launched in 2006 and tripled in size by 2007 (the year of the first “retweet” and the first #hashtag).

Facebook also started in early 2004. By 2008, it had caught up to and surpassed MySpace by every measure. In 2011, Newscorp sold MySpace to Specific Media for $35 million. Oh, how the mighty had fallen.

On the other hand, Facebook just kept growing and growing, which may have motivated Google to launch Google+ that same year. No one ever liked or used it. Google+ will shut down on April 2, 2019.

Nightclub or Public Utility?

Looking at the historic timeline, one might conclude that Friendster could not adapt, MySpace was arrogant and could not adapt, Twitter was something new and interesting, Facebook was continuously improving, and Google, even with its immense resources and engineering prowess, failed to create a compelling product.

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 ...

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