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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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