Social media has become a familiar aspect of our daily lives, with billions of people using it to connect with friends and family, share their photos, thoughts, and experiences, and discover new information. Over the past few years, the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Twitter have occasionally raised concerns about data privacy, censorship, and algorithmic bias.
As a result, an increasing number of people have begun to look for other independent social media channels as a substitute. The following are some of the most recent independent social media channels to emerge. Maybe you’ve heard of one or all of these.
Mastodon is a decentralized microblogging platform that operates on an open-source model. It was created in 2016 as an alternative to centralized social media platforms like Twitter, and it has gained recent popularity among users who prioritize privacy and control over their own data.
Mastodon works on a federated model, which means that users can create their own servers (called “instances”) and connect with users on other instances. Each instance has its own rules and moderation policies, allowing for greater flexibility and diversity of content compared to centralized platforms. However, users can still interact with each other regardless of which instance they are on.
Mastodon’s interface is similar to Twitter’s, with a timeline-based feed and a character limit for posts (500 characters). Users can follow other users, post updates (called “toots”), and engage with content through likes, comments, and boosts (which are like retweets).
Mastodon prioritizes user privacy and gives users complete control over their data and content. Users, for example, can choose whether to make their profiles and “toots” public or private, and they can export their data at any time. Mastodon also includes powerful moderation tools, such as the ability to block or mute other users, report inappropriate content, and create custom filters.
Overall, Mastodon offers a decentralized and privacy-focused alternative to centralized social media platforms, with a familiar interface and flexible moderation policies.
Spoutible is a new social media platform that went live on February 1, 2023. Spoutible’s goal is to be an attractive Twitter alternative that provides its users with a safe space for dialogue and debate free of harassment and misinformation. Spoutible is powered by Bot Sentinel, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to track Twitter accounts and provide accurate information on targeted disinformation, harassment, and toxic trolling.
The following statement, which can be found on the platform’s Community Rules & Policies page, best expresses the founder’s intentions:
“Spoutible’s goal is to allow users to “spout off” in a safe, civil, and fun environment. Our rules and policies are designed to protect the community from harassment, threats, disinformation and platform manipulation. Different perspectives and ideas are welcome on Spoutible, but harassment, threats, and intimidation are not.”
Spoutible is like Twitter in that users can post “Spouts,” send direct messages, create polls, and view trending topics. One of the many appealing features of this platform is that its users’ data, including direct messages, is encrypted, contributing to a feeling of security when using the platform. Spoutible also has a rating system for each account that notifies users if an account has engaged in harassment or bot behavior. Brands, celebrities, journalists, politicians, and other notable accounts display a blue verification checkmark on the platform.
Spoutible does not support video posting or have an app for iPhones or Androids yet, but these features are on the way – possibly even this month! Spoutible’s challenges include building the technology infrastructure to support the platform and its traffic, expanding its user base in a competitive social media industry, and avoiding the site from becoming an echo chamber devoid of spirited debate.
BeReal is a new social platform that encourages authenticity and self-expression. It is designed to help users build relationships with others and foster a sense of community. Every day at a different time, everyone is notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo in two minutes, making it a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.
The platform provides special tools, such as private chatrooms and content curation, to help users connect with like-minded individuals quickly and easily. It also helps track how people interact with the platform to make it more enjoyable.
BeReal encourages users to express themselves and develop meaningful relationships with others. It tracks how active and connected people are in the community to improve the platform for everyone.
What might these platforms mean for businesses in the future?
As more people expand their interests in independent social media platforms, channels such as Mastodon, Spoutible, BeReal, and others are likely to grow in popularity. For businesses, this presents both challenges and opportunities.
On one hand, businesses may need to shift their marketing strategies to target users on these new platforms. On the other hand, these platforms may offer unique opportunities for businesses to connect with audiences in more authentic and meaningful ways.
For example, BeReal’s emphasis on community building could be a valuable channel for businesses to engage with consumers and build brand loyalty.
Over to you
The growth of independent social media platforms indicates an increased need for alternative platforms that emphasize community, authenticity, and, most importantly, user privacy. Businesses must adapt and innovate as these platforms develop to reach their target consumers and remain relevant.
MYOB is committed to staying current with social media trends and how they affect our clients and their followers. Visit our website or call us at 519-657-4283 to learn more about our social media services and which options are best for you and your business.
Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger