More on MeWe, a new social network: let’s do this
Last week I wrote briefly about a new social network called MeWe. In that quick overview I noted its no advertising/in-app purchases model and its vow to never sell user data. MeWe is very pointedly being launched as an alternative to Facebook, and that alone should pique our interest.
In the past few days I’ve been using MeWe as much as possible to get a feel for its design, features, user experience and general viability as a potential replacement for FB, and am incredibly pleased with what I’ve found.
- MeWe’s design and user experience is superior to Facebook’s. It’s clean, extremely intuitive, and if you’ve grown accustomed to all the clutter associated with having your data monetized – ads, recommended/sponsored posts and the like – you’re going to be struck by the dramatic improvement in the signal:noise ratio. Finding and editing your settings is simpler by far (I still have to Google instructions for FB sometimes), and part of the reason is you don’t need as many settings where privacy is concerned.
- It has all the features you love in Facebook – groups, events, pages and the like. There are already a huge number of interest groups and you can create/manage new ones easily.
- There’s also a chat feature attached to the groups that allows running side conversations. FB doesn’t really have anything like it, and while I haven’t explored it in great detail it seems, at a glance, to be really useful. The one for the Macro Photography group is even livelier than the actual content stream.
In the end, if all other things were equal and I were picking between MeWe and Facebook, it would be the easiest choice ever. Literally the only thing FB has going for it is inertia: we’re all there already and have invested a good bit of energy in its way of organizing our online world.
Of course, this comes with a cost. If you aren’t paying for dinner, you’re on the menu, and we could write volumes on all the ways Facebook has abused its users in recent years (the 2018 list alone is terrifying).
Obviously you can’t replace your entire Facebook life overnight. But MeWe already has millions of users and it’s growing quickly. And there was a time you’d never even heard of Facebook. So sure, it’s incremental.
I’m going to invite all my friends to investigate MeWe, and with a little effort maybe we can help provide the world with an alternative to the most corrosive assault on civil society the Internet has mounted to date. I’m sure MeWe isn’t the answer to all our problems, but right now any step in the right direction is welcomed.
If you decide to give it a try, I’m Doc Wintersmith. Come say hi.