The Top 5 most interesting (+ safe) alternatives to Facebook (2019)19.09.2019, 12:58
It takes a big scandal to re-paint boundaries in bold. It’s happened - to a degree - with the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook Big Data furore. [Note the new additions in your Facebook privacy settings.] But has the scary thought about your data, preferences and voting ‘profile’ - still living out there on FB’s centralised servers (and potentially harvest-able to the next mysterious use-case, or via some breach) made you #deleteFacebook yet? Probably not. Let’s face it. Facebook is massive and it’s not going anywhere unless quite a few more scandals arise. It could well be that Facebook manages to ‘disrupt’ itself via cryptocurrency (Libra) and infrastructure changes, so it adapts to the blockchain-based challengers that now exist or are being created right now. Let’s just say it will have a close eye on the newcomers...
But who are these newcomers? They may be many different platform variations, radically more robust in that they may be ‘decentralised’ to a degree; stored on multiple or widely-dispersed computers and with your private data secured and accessible only by you (with your own special keys). They may be virtually unstoppable and censorship-resistant. Who controls them? It can depend. They can be entirely community-run or else have some aspect of centralisation inherent. [You might argue that this is still needed when it comes to a social network, if online governance fails to work.]
Some focus purely on direct monetization of any content you might want to contribute, others more on content and writing. Some focus on chat and social aspects. But they all face a huge task: integrating or replacing Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter etc.
Points to consider
Many of them are used only as alternatives for now, until they can possibly scale enough and develop enough features to become potential ‘replacement’ directories full of your family and friends. It’s still a long-shot. They’ll need to be crafty to keep users with some kind of focus, or by sharing real rewards. Most of these rewards can be exchanged for Bitcoin or Ethereum (which we also offer here at Prizes Drop for those who complete our surveys and mini-tasks.)
For despite the fact that many users can’t stand Facebook, or are ready to move away from it, they find themselves bound to its directory of family and friends. No-one wants to disappear from it. Facebook stole the market after Myspace lost it. They developed well-used, simple but addictive features for keeping us connected: checking walls and newsfeeds, buying and selling locally, discovering local groups, following causes etc. It was a massive take-over. What other platforms can replicate all the required features, or are willing to try?
Convenience of log-in + ecosystem
Let’s not forget these extra 'ammo' that the newcomers do have. People love being invested in a new ecosystem, which is why social network dapps on blockchains like Ethereum, EOS and Blockstack, are so interesting. They can have a major advantage for adoption because access to them enables access to an entire, growing ecosystem of decentralised, ad-free apps. They may only require one log-in. Crypto-users are already familiar with using MetaMask or Scatter (browser extensions) to interact with these new dapps.
5 alternative social networks to watch:
Anyway, after that background, let’s highlight at least five contenders which we believe offer some real potential, either for being decent alternatives to Facebook or in offering a valid ‘addition’ to what Facebook currently offers. There are a lot more you’ll find out there, but we’ve chosen these for being accessible, easy-to-use and integrated into existing platforms, either by log-in, tipping etc. [Note: this list ignores current user-numbers.]
Still a relative newcomer, Narrative.org offers a reward scheme (similar to Steemit) but with a cleaner interface that is easier to use and has the correct emphasis on ‘journal’, in terms of content. You can choose to post rich content to your Personal Journal page, or also send it to ‘Niches’ which are subjects or groups run by moderators. All content and engagement is rewarded monthly with NRVE points, a NEO-based blockchain token. They might just have configured the right balance that will encourage great posting, governance and engagement.
If so, then we will see this ‘community-run’ social network project grow considerably. A new feature ‘Publications’ is coming soon, that will allow more professional users and brands to pay for channels and have ‘more control over who can post and manage content’.
Steemit, Steempeak, Busy, Appics
All of the above dapps interface with the same Steem Blockchain. Steemit messed up by monetizing people for pretty worthless opinions on the site, or for engaging remotely via automated bots. Now they’ve got tired and other more dedicated Steemians are making real decisions about the platform.
Manual curation is now more rewarded and there is hope again but besides Steemit, the blockchain remains a strong platform that still sees great activity. Appics for example could be a popular Instagram-style dapp.
Despite the dapps mentioned above, one latest edition to the potential in Steem is Engrave - an exciting Steem dapp where you can make your own blog site and where you can still receive rewards. It seems, blockchain-based personal websites are arriving.
BitTube has lately re-invented itself to actually offer a strong portal to rival Facebook: Bittubers.com. Profile pages are now nice-looking and there is a potential for groups. It also has sensible membership options for the quantity of posting and streaming you might need. Log-in can be by Google etc. which is a good integration.
Bittubers.com represents great potential and boost for the TUBES cryptocurrency that underpins it, but it’s early days. If users find any of these features or transaction times frustrating then it will not retain them. The process of configuring a TUBES wallet via browser extension etc will need to get easier and quicker. There are also techie aspects to the wallets that need better design or hiding completely.
The user experience of Bittubers is pretty good right now, you're sure to be impressed. When/if Libra comes along, they might find several sites are already ahead.
EOS: Voice (not yet released) + Murmur + Sense etc.
EOS has the ecosystem and blockchain speed to increase its value. It has real investment behind it and the hopes and expectations of many developers and users powering it and engaging with it.
The upcoming Voice social network project will add a much-needed ‘killer dapp’ to EOS that might integrate identities and bring some of the existing social media dapps (Sense messenger, Murmur microblogging etc) under one powerful umbrella. You can sign up for the beta access.
Cent.co has a hint of Pinterest about it combined with the desire to gain instant rewards for posting. It’s stuck to one design without getting complicated.
You get rewards by seeding other people’s posts, or getting seeded.
Access is familiar via MetaMask (Ethereum browser extension) and uses ETH.
However, new upgrades to this beta are required and a faster Ethereum might help too.
Postly (not yet released on Blockstack)
Decentium (EOS blogging now)
Trybe (EOS social networking experiment.)
and even more........
Of course, all this is relevant at Prizes Drop, since we offer free Bitcoin vouchers and free Ethereum vouchers for loyal members completing our surveys, watching ads and other mini-tasks. Sign up today for your very own flashy dashboard!