It might well be. Social media giants such as Facebook have come under increasing scrutiny of late from both businesses and personal users alike. Ever since Facebook’s algorithm changed to favor the posts of businesses and media channels over the actual social content between friends and families, there has been a steady decline of interest and a growing trend of uproar and outrage. The changes occurred when the Facebook changed the algorithm so that the potential reach of a post was dependent on how much money the user or business was willing to pay to promote it. This quickly led to timelines being choked by a mass of corporate and targeted advertising with very little “real life” content appearing in between. Recently Facebook announced another change to its news feed to once again favor more social content, taper the reach of businesses and media pages, and to combat the spread of misinformation that has plagued the platform in recent years.
There has also been growing security concern surrounding social media usage. This concern is understandable considering the amount of valuable data being stored and transferred at any given moment. It’s for this reason that many web hosts provide security measures such as SSL certificates that come standard with many web packages. These are used by websites, including every social media site, to ensure passwords, credit card details and other data remains encrypted and secure. But as we’ve seen in previous years, even giant, supposedly secure sites and systems are vulnerable to hacking and data theft. With a growing number of people concerned about the security of their personal data and the widening controversy surrounding social media in general, it’s time to ask: are there better social media alternatives?
For those who are concerned with their data and how it is being tracked and used, diaspora is the ideal choice. Consisting of a number of individual servers called “pods”, diaspora is a social media network that, unlike Facebook, ensures that your data is not being used to tailor advertisements to you, but instead only to connect you with other individuals. It gives you full control over your privacy settings, is completely decentralized and offers users optional completely anonymity.
If Instagram’s algorithm changes are stopping you from seeing all of your favorite photographers (or stopping others from seeing your photos), EyeEM might just be the next big alternative. The platform allows photographers to upload their work to be viewed by the general public similar to most image-based social media platforms currently available. The difference with EyeEM is that users can make all of their photographs available for purchase, meaning that any and all work can be seamlessly and intuitively made available for sale while individuals browse their favorite photographers.
Ello started as an ad-free alternative to existing social networking sites such as Facebook. It stands out by never selling user data to advertisers or third parties, not showing advertisements, and allowing users to use a pseudonym to keep their identities private if they wish to do so. In recent years, however, the site has shifted its focus from being a Facebook competitor to a more image-based slant similar to Pinterest, with the focus showcasing art, photography, fashion and other creative projects. Ello has also included ‘Hire Me’ and ‘Collaborate’ buttons that enable users and community members to connect and collaborate or exchange services. ‘Buy’ buttons can also be added to any posts to direct readers and community members to online shops where the work in question can be bought.