• flipboard

Potential Facebook Competitor That Offers Privacy and Control

If there was a social network that functioned like Facebook but boasted more privacy, would you make the switch?Potential Facebook Competitor That Offers Privacy and Control

Dmitry Shapiro sure hopes you would.  The former Myspace Music CTO recently rubbed elbows with investors like Draper Fisher Jurvetson in order to put wheels on the project he, for the moment, calls Altly.

What is it?  The answer is in the name: an alternative to Facebook.

But what does Shapiro have against Facebook (except that it sent Myspace to its untimely end)?  Shapiro left the outdated social network in April and has been quick to announce himself Zuckerberg’s rival.

There is clearly nothing wrong with Facebook making money, as all business has to do. What IS clearly wrong is when our privacy, our personal information, our digital lives are being subjugated for the sake of profit, without us having any meaningful capability to opt out, or even know the extent of such activity.

Is Privacy Facebook’s Achilles Heel?

Ah, yes.  That whole privacy thing.  The issue that’s raised a veritable army of unsatisfied Facebook customers, on whom Shapiro is now relying to get his upstart project on the road.

Is there another option? What are our alternatives? If we don’t like what Facebook is doing, what can we do about it?

Well, herein lies the problem. There are NO serious alternatives at this time. For every Coke there is a Pepsi, for every Ford there is a Chevy, for every PC there is a Mac and for every Facebook there is…. a void! Facebook has such overwhelming power that practically no one believes that trying to build an alternative is possible.

You can check out the whole blog post here.

A Social Network with More Control By the User

According to Shapiro , Altly emphasizes easy but detailed customizable privacy controls, data ownership and portability, and even the option of individuals making their data available to advertisers if they so wish.  No more will the News Feed reveal to the world the comment about your irritable bowel that was only meant for your friend’s eyes.  No more data mining or government fishing expeditions.  You get the idea.

Will this army of ex-Facebook-devotees be enough to make Altly any bigger of a threat to Facebook than Myspace was in April?  Time will only tell.  Shapiro’s record isn’t the most encouraging one (previous ventures include Veoh, which spent a whole lot of money playing second fiddle to YouTube, and Akonix, an instant messaging security company bought out by Quest).  Jurvetson’s Managering Partner Josh Stein tweeted his excitement about the partnership, and though one assumes people like Jurvetson don’t just throw money around, it happens.

Would you make the switch to Altly?

More Reading

Will These Competitors Slow Facebook’s Growth

20 Things to Do When Facebook is Down

50 Fascinating Facebook Facts and Figures

How to Create a 5 Step Facebook Marketing Strategy for Your Blog

Guest Author: Tracy Sitchen is a veteran coupon clipper, stay at home Mom, and aspiring writer. While she loves shopping, she loves the chase of the deal even more! She’s recently been writing about KFC coupons along with Tide coupons over at her blog where she shares deals and discounts to help every day people save money.

Image by alancleaver_2000

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Taking the Face off Facebook: A general or basic distrust of business can show through in charges that Facebook is using its facial recognition technology other than what is being represented publically. For its part, Facebook launched the feature without even bothering to work key stakeholders. For more, please turn to my essay at  http://bit.ly/kf67XL

  • Lobba68

    I would definitely make the switch even if it meant not being as ‘connected’. I’m sick of having to update my privacy settings every time Facebook rolls out something new, and the deceptive language they use on the website that everything is for one’s own benefit. 

  • probably if the name wasnt altly

  • Thank you for this interesting post! In my opinion there
    are two main issues that could drive users away from Facebook. 
    First: the fact that
    Facebook changes constantly the privacy settings (that one user needs to adjust
    regularly if you want to keep your privacy). You have to watch Facebook updates closely for not missing anything.
    Second: the ongoing
    commercialization of the Facebook userpage like publishing all kinds of so
    called “user related advertising”.

    I have read and tested another (self declared by the owners) alternative to
    Facebook: path.com.

  • i could not agree more on this front. how much more privacy abuse can users take. Facebook has never respected users and constantly makes updates that effect everyone without and notification etc. consumers have to constantly keep changing their settings and app makers get kicked in the teeth none stop. 

    last week there was a new update and all of a sudden my wall is getting spammed endlessly with “your cute” apps etc. its getting to be beyond annoying.

    Zucks “i want to be the internet” is going to be his end. its just another walled garden like AOL, and the internet is about openness. not closed walled environments that abuse users…

  • Graypartners

    for every google there is a….oh hang on, wait a minute….

  • I don’t know about another social media platform. Of course there will be new ones crop up and the evolution of social media is a given. The question is, how many can we actually use?

    I currently am on Twitter, Facebook and now Google+. The jury is still out on Google+ but it looks like it might be good.  The emergence of Altly might be bad timing due to the Google+ rage.

    I’ll be curious to see.

  • Unlikely, I’ve just signed onto Google + and am navigating my way around that.  Interesting that we are seeing the alternatives to Facebook ‘popping up’ so frequently now. The power of facebook was that is that once it was clearly the leader in social networking, now there are others nipping at its heels.  The privacy and commercialism is an issue.  Aside from that, its the openness – users of twitter and google + seem a lot more open with info vs facebook users.  Also, I think people are a lot more comfortable with their sharing personal glimpes of themselves etc vs. when facebook first started up.  Different times, different people, different needs. Always changing.