Back in the day, pundits and thought leaders liked to ask, “Is ____ a nightclub or a public utility?” The theory is that nightclubs go in and out of style, but you’ll pay for and use the electric company’s product forever. With roughly 2.6 billion users, Facebook is clearly a utility. No digital product has ever been this size. The company has to break new ground every day just to keep from collapsing under its own weight. That said, the public sentiment combined with the political climate has created, at least in a small way, a market for alternative solutions.
Plurk utilizes a horizontal timeline, with messages summarized by single verbs (“feels”, “loves”, etc.). As you would expect, media files can be shared, and Plurks can be liked. Emoticons are an important element of the Plurk user experience, and your selection increases as your karma grows. Karma is based on your activity on the social networking site. Group chat and direct messaging are also featured on Plurk.
I have had Twitter since 2008, never used it until this Winter when we did daily treks to another city for health treatments. The rotten weather, road closures and guess what, the cops use Twitter, hydro guys, the road guys, the weather guys, they all use Twitter, so I'm sticking with Twitter. I'm probably in the minority, but I use my phone for texting and communicating when necessary. Gave up my landline 3 years ago and have a good data plan (2 phones, one for me, one for hubs). Twitter it is!
Facebook has been and remains the undisputed king of the social network market. Granted, in some regions of the world, like Russia or China for example, there is a more level playing field with the success of popular alternatives to Facebook who take an equal market share. But for the most part, Facebook is the worldwide leader when it comes to social interaction online. If you’re using the platform, you’ve got no choice but to accept the network’s settings on privacy and data protection and live with them. If you don’t want to do this, then you’ll have to find a good and conservative alternative to Facebook – and either convince all of your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances to join you, or be prepared for the fact that your online friendship circle will be significantly reduced (to begin with at least).
If all that has you thinking about deleting Facebook entirely, you're far from alone. (Quitting the social network is also somewhat of a first-world privilege, since for many people Facebook functions as the entire internet itself.) But going cold turkey can be hard; Facebook actually provides useful services sometimes, and there's no one-for-one replacement.
First let’s talk about Vero. Anyone that is leaving FB due to privacy concerns and data management concerns would be foolish to trust Vero. Ayman Hariri the founder of Vero is the son of a currupt politician from the Islamic country of Jordan, Ayman himself is personally is a currupt billionaire businessman with serious humanitarian concerns in his recent history, just check on the abandonment of his foreign workers in his former construction company. Not exactly people I would trust with my personal information, but do with it as you will.
Something that makes SmugMug an excellent Instagram alternative is the ability to download entire galleries so they’re available offline for when your signal isn’t the strongest. This can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re using your account as a professional photographer. You can also share images directly from the app via SMS, email and social media, so it’s not limited to face-to-face sharing.
One of Facebook's most useful features isn't the main app itself, but its spinoff app Messenger. But while Messenger makes it easy to chat with Facebook friends, it's also confusing and riddled with unnecessary clutter. If you're looking for a clean and easy-to-use messaging app, try Signal. It's a free, end-to-end encrypted messaging service, approved by security researchers, that sticks to the basics. There are no animated stickers or fancy chat bots, but Signal does an excellent job of keeping you securely connected to your friends and family.
There are very successful focused business-oriented social networks. LinkedIn, for example, attracts job seekers, as does Dribbble, which bills itself as the leading destination to find and showcase creative work. Work-focused networks are thriving. Which raises the question, “Would a big media brand or a big lifestyle brand have consumer permission to found and run a tightly focused social network?”
Look familiar? We originally published this post shortly after Facebook's acquisition of and the Android launch of Instagram. We were concerned then about the influence Facebook would have on it, and now it's borne fruit in the form of an invasive terms-of-service agreement. The agreement gives Instagram rights to and ownership of your photos to sell and use in ads as they see fit. Sure, you probably don't care if they sell that photo of your coffee foam, but you and your friends may care if they sell photos of your faces or likenesses to a company that uses your shot in their ad material. Unfortunately, at this stage the only way to opt-out is to close your account and move to another service, like some of these great alternatives.
Here's the thing—putting aside the fact that some very vocal iOS users are very upset that their precious app has descended to the likes of Android users (let's be clear, some iOS users, not all - most people understand that the device you use, OS you prefer, or browser you surf with is not who you are) and the social commentary the whole depressing fiasco gives us, the truth is that while Instagram has great hype, slick sex appeal, and a bolted-on social aspect, it doesn't do anything that a half-dozen other apps for iOS and Android don't do. In fact, some of those Android apps do it just as well or better.
It's full of inspiration, it's clean and it's wonderfully simple to use. If you are looking for a unique way of to publish a collection of images and give them an editorial feel very quickly, Steller is the place to be. Steller has also been slow in building an active following, but much like SW/NG, I hope that the developers persist as there is certainly enough room in the market for well thought out image sharing apps like Steller.
For my money, at least, I'd much rather you focus on solving the other ten zillion things than go up against Slack. You'll have a hard time displacing Slack for us, and I'm confident nearly everyone we work with would say the same. Even if we liked CU's chat, we'd still have Slack open for the other 15 teams I chat with, so we'd end up going right back to it, methinks…