Social Media Alternatives: Is It Time To Try Something New?
Since the advent of social media, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter dominated this internet space based on user accounts. Even though there are social media alternatives, is it time to try something new? Facebook’s business model benefited from individuals’ desire to be connected to those beyond their inner circle and immediate geographic space. High school friends, distant relatives, and affinity groups of all types became accessible and led to the growth in Facebook’s reach and global popularity. On the other hand, although dwarfed by Facebook’s user base, Twitter provided a platform for sharing instant news from a broad spectrum of sources to global users. Account-holders received the opportunity to write positive and negative reactions directly to athletes, entertainers, politicians and to relay complaints to consumer businesses in real-time, initially uncensored. Residing between the two platforms in popularity, Instagram and Snapchat shared stories, news, and entertainment via photos and videos and appealed to a younger demographic. Ranked by size, the largest of the four platforms is Facebook, followed by Instagram, Snapchat, and then Twitter.
In 2020, individual users of traditional social media believed, whether justified or not, that Facebook and Twitter censorship became aggressively politically motivated. Assuming that the two platforms targeted only one end of the political spectrum, users began adding accounts to, if not fully migrating to, other platforms. The dominant target is Parler, founded in 2018. Encouraging freedom of speech and minimal censorship, the Parler platform provides a parallel stage on which news is shared and opinions expressed. Although Parler’s outlook is uncertain, the emergence of additional social media platforms such as Clouthub and Rumble might point to a future in which the social media space will be rationalized to an extent never seen in the past public will benefit from alternative means to interact and access information.
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