Will These Competitors Slow Facebook's Growth?

Facebook is battling with an awareness that it takes it’s users for granted as it makes changes that both infuriate and frustrate its subscriber base. Facebook Competitors

There are user groups springing up such as

  • QuitFacebookDay (23,000 members) asking members to close their account on May 3
  • FacebookProtest (3,000 supporters) that is requesting a one day boycott on June 6
  • Facebook Group with 2.2 million members protesting recent changes to privacy and layout

These movements are an indication of  the level of discontent especially on its privacy controls. There are also people inceasingly having their accounts hacked and hijacked with spam messages and links being sent to users friends (that happened to me only this week).

Will this stop Facebook’s inexorable march to global social media domination?

Here are some competitors continuing and starting to nip at the heels of the 800 pound gorilla.

Appleseed

Appleseed is an open source project to develop free software that would allow users to set up their own social media networking hubs. Appleseed aims to create an open source, fully distributed and decentralized social networking software. Appleseed is still in active development. When it’s done, you’ll be able to pick an Appleseed compatible site, sign up, connect with friends, send messages, share photos and videos and join discussions. And if you decide you don’t like the site you’re on, you can sign up for another Appleseed compatible site and immediately reconnect with everyone in your network.

Facebook Competitor Appleseed

Diaspora

Diaspora is the brainchild of four New York University students who raised more than $180,000 in seed money. Their Vision is

“We are 140-character ideas. We are the pictures of your cat. We are blog posts about the economy. We are the collective knowledge that is Wikipedia. The internet is a canvas – of which, we paint broad and fine strokes of our lives with. It is a forward extension of our physical lives; a meta-self comprised of ones and zeros. We are all that is digital: If we weren’t, the internet wouldn’t either.”

Facebook Competitor Diaspora

Collegiate Nation

A small, subscription-based site exclusively for students which only connects college students, promises no ads , no data mining, no third party apps and no selling of your info to anyone.
Facebook Competitor Collegiate Nation

OneSocialWeb

They dream of a world where all social networks are connected and work together in One Social Web. The OneSocialWeb projects aims to define the language to bridge these networks and make it easy for social networks to join. Yet they are closed environments that do not allow you to friend, message or share across networks. They are releasing an experimental social network for users over the Summer

Facebook Competitor One SocialWeb

Crabgrass

Crabgrass currently consists of a solid suite of group collaboration tools, such as private wikis, task lists, file repository, and decision making tools. They are currently working on a large user interface overhaul, better social networking tools, blogs, and event calendars, as well as better support for collaboration and decision making among independent groups.

Facebook Competitor Crabgrass

Elgg

Elgg is an award-winning open source social networking platform that powers all kinds of social environments, from a campus wide social network for your university, school or college or an internal collaborative platform for your organization through to a brand-building communications tool for your company and its clients. You can create your own social application and build and run a site for your organization, or introduce a social layer into your technology stack.

Note: By the way Biz Stone one of the co-founders of Twitter is an advisor for Elgg

Facbook Competitor Elgg

So there are some great  innovative social media visionaries that would like to think that one day that their platform could be the new Facebook .

The reality is that despite the protests Facebook is continuing to add users at over 10 million user a month since late April, so will Facebook be declining anyday soon?

I think not, and there are many reasons that most people will continue to stay.

  • It is an integral part of people’s lives
  • They don’t want to upset their friends
  • They have invested too much time to walk away
  • There is too much of an “emotional”  investment to pull the plug

So are you jumping ship?

Comments

  • Josh

    http://chirrps.com just launched today and uses data from Twitter to create a social community much like facebook. Example: http://chirrps.com/jeffbullas

  • http://www.virginbloggernotes.com Jean Sarauer

    No ship jumping for me.

    Facebook has it’s problems, to be sure. That said, I couldn’t be happier with the way I’ve been able to share and connect. And, I have a little bit of compassion for facebook actually, because I think they’re learning as they go here.

    One challenge any start-up social media site has now is that a lot of people are already feeling overwhelmed with options. If I ever were to walk away from facebook (unimaginable!) I don’t think I’d start up someplace else. I’d just stick with Twitter and that would have to be enough.

  • http://barefootmeg.multiply.com barefootmeg

    i’m not interested in anything open source that i have to set up.

    multiply.com is really easy to use, it’s easy to customize and personalize, and it has great privacy controls. i’ve been using multiply since 2004 and i see no reason to leave. i can even crosspost to FB if i want so my friends there can see my posts without me having to do much there myself.

  • Jeaster

    Don’t see it happening with any of the above

    • http://twitter.com/garethoneill Gareth O’ Neill

      I would agree, OneSocialWeb sounds anyhing but social. They should just give up now

  • Psnnagu

    These seem to be open source build your own social networking sites kind of sites. Who has the time? dateleaf.com is a easy to use private social networking site. easy to use and build my own private networks without a lot of effort.

  • http://twitter.com/juanortiztweets Juan Ortiz

    Until one of these projects catches fire, I do not see any of them threatening (much less overtaking) Facebook. As Jeff said, there is too much of an emotional connection from users to the tool; plus, it would mean for people to restart the entire process in order to get to the point their networks are in today. And, that would take about what… three or four years? Maybe more?

    I believe it would take a complete lack of focus (just like what happened to Myspace) more than something else becoming popular for Facebook to go down.

  • http://twitter.com/DarienGabriel Darien Gabriel 

    I’d love to see reviews of these sites. Great post!

  • serge bronstein

    we also compete with facebook and people love us!

    http://www.peoplemix.net