Amidst privacy scandals involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, some people are seriously looking for suitable Facebook alternatives. If you are looking for a different way to stay connected with friends and family by sharing your photos and thoughts, there are several other social media platforms worth exploring.
If you want to join a social network that is backed by a very large company, it doesn't get much bigger than Google and its social media platform Google+. The core functionality is very similar to that of Facebook. You can add friends, post status updates, share links, post pictures and more.
Part of the appeal is that everything is linked back to your Google account, making for fantastic integration across other Google products like YouTube and Hangouts. Google+ Communities are similar to Facebook groups too.
If you've been using the 'Login with Facebook' feature on third party websites, you'll find that many of these also accept a 'Sign in with Google' equivalent. You'll just need to connect your Google account accordingly to use this feature.
Private Data Concerns
One of the greatest strengths of Google+ may also be one of its greatest drawbacks. If data mining is the reason you are thinking about leaving Facebook, Google+ may not be the best choice. Google collects a lot of user data, so the site may be subject to similar privacy concerns as Facebook.
One of the more common complaints about Facebook is how the news feed is subject to the Facebook algorithm, so the newest content doesn't necessarily show up at the top. Vero addresses that concern directly, because user content appears in strict chronological order. Updates are not filtered or subject to an algorithm. Vero is also striving to stay ad-free.
Viral Mobile Growth
Originally released in 2015, Vero really took off in March 2018 when it skyrocketed to approximately three million users. Similar to the early days of Instagram, Vero is only accessible via its mobile app. The app is free to download from the App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android. While there may be a membership fee in the future, the platform is free to use as of April 2018.
Users can share status updates, photos, books they're reading, movies or TV shows they're watching, and more. Contacts that you add are further subdivided into followers, acquaintances, friends, and close friends. With each update, you can choose the contact level at which you wish to share the update.
Like WhatsApp, you need to supply and verify your phone number to join Vero.
Nextdoor offers a slightly different approach to social media than other sites. Rather than helping you connect with other users all around the globe, it aims to help you "discover your neighborhood."
The Local Social Network
Nextdoor positions itself as "the private social network for your neighborhood." Part Yelp, part Craigslist, and part Facebook, Nextdoor offers several features that help you connect with the actual people who live and work where you do. The site has a classifieds section for buying and selling products and services. Users can review local businesses to provide recommendations and also peruse neighbor-provided advice to form your own local decisions.
Over ten million users are registered with Nextdoor, interacting in more than 100,000 neighborhoods across the United States. It is also offered in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and France. The focus on hyperlocal information and recommendations really sets the platform apart from the crowd.
While some users value anonymity online, this may not be completely compatible with Nextdoor's approach. Whereas you need to verify your phone number on Vero, you need to verify your real name and home address with Nextdoor. This could involve providing information about your credit card or social security number. You can alternatively request to have a postcard sent to your address containing a verification code.
Social Beyond Facebook
With over two billion monthly active users, Facebook is a dominating force in the social media space, but it is hardly the only option available online. You can keep up with trending stories on Twitter, leverage professional networking on LinkedIn, or engage in heated debates on Reddit. There's a social network for almost anyone!