Is there a Facebook alternative that respects your privacy?

As we all know, Facebook is in trouble. Staff morale in the company is very low, as the #deleteFacebook hash-tag campaign gathers steam in Twitter. There are suggestions that Mark Zuckerberg may appear in front of Congress, as calls for government regulation on Facebook are getting increasingly louder.

The root of Facebook’s current predicament can be traced to its business model.

In a nutshell, its business model is identical to Google. As I wrote in The Google Trap, in Google’s business model,

it sells access to consumers’ attention. By using Google’s free products, your attention is captured by Google. Then it sells your attention to businesses in the form of advertisements

Facebook operates in the same way. It offers you a ‘free’ service in order to capture your attention. Then it sells your attention to advertisers. In other words, if you use Facebook, you are NOT Facebook’s customer; instead, you are its product to be sold.

This type of business model has an inherent conflict of interest problem. Its users (people who are on Facebook) are the products to be sold to the highest bidder (advertisers). The business cannot act in its users’ best interest because it is the advertisers who are buttering its bread.

That’s why Facebook has to collect as much data as possible about you. The more it knows about you, the more valuable its product (users) is to its customers (advertisers). The data it collects about you is its most valuable asset. Unfortunately, the controversy is that Facebook seems to have lost control of its most valuable asset.

The inherent conflict of interest problem in Facebook’s business model is not sustainable for everyone in the long run. Something will eventually break. And today, we are seeing the first cracks.

So, is there a social media network that has a fundamentally better business model, where its users are also its customers? Such a business model will result in the alignment of interest between its users and customers because they are one and the same.

The good news is, there is one. It is called MeWe. In its FAQ, someone asked, “How can MeWe be free and make money?” MeWe’s answer is,

At MeWe privacy is free! MeWe is a free consumer service built on the philosophy of great successful businesses; respecting our members as partners. MeWe makes money the same way offline companies have always made money; by offering optional services that people actually want and benefit from. For starters, you get our great basic service sharing photos, videos, documents, chat, voice messaging, etc., and up to 8GB of storage, free. Then, and only if you want more, you can add up to 500GB of data storage; download helpful private group apps from the MeWe App Store (coming in 2016); print your pictures; select coupons; and choose from other cool choices designed for your entertainment. In 2016 we will also release an enterprise version for companies who want MeWe for private team collaborations.

We will NEVER give advertisers any information about you personally. Everything we do is intended to enhance your experience, because our philosophy is that taking care of you and your needs as our member, is the best and right way to be successful.

In other words, in MeWe, the users ultimately pay for its services. This is unlike Facebook, where advertisers pay Facebook to collect as much data as possible about its users. Since MeWe’s users are also its customers, there is no place for advertisers. Since there is no place for advertisers, there is no need to collect data about its users.

So, what are you waiting for? Give MeWe a try!

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I am a Technology Consultant, whose passion is to help small businesses reach their full potential through mastery of digital technologies, strategies and marketing.