With more than 2.2 billion users worldwide, Facebook is so ingrained in our lives that you may find it hard to imagine giving it up completely. Even if you don’t post very often, it’s still a useful way to chat, share photos and find out what your friends are up to, but
there are other similar sites and apps. Here are six less Best Alternatives To Facebook nosy options to try.
Best Alternatives To Facebook
Whereas your Facebook news feed is (or was) a jumble of posts of varying degrees of interest, Raftr lets you browse communities – called ‘rafts’ – about news, topics and activities you actually want to read about and discuss.
In this sense, it’s similar to Facebook’s Groups feature, but with a cleaner, better-organized interface. Sharing thoughts, photos and videos is very straightforward, as is exploring and joining rafts that interest you.
Raftr is available on the web and as an iOS app, and you need to provide your
phone number to sign up, so it can “verify your identity with a unique, texted code each time you log in”, and prevent abuse and spam.
It’s certainly worth a look, although currently there’s a bias towards US college students – just like early Facebook!
Right from its homepage, Diaspora promises to be very different from Facebook. This non-profit social network lets you choose where in the world your data is stored, by selecting a ‘pod’ server when you sign up.
It gives you total control over who can see the content you share, and there’s no requirement to use your real identity, so you’re free to use a pseudonym.
Twitter-like features such as ‘mentions’, ‘reshares’ and ‘loves’ make Diaspora feel
familiar, and you can explore the content by following topic-based hashtags.
Since 2010, Diaspora has attracted around a million users, but only has two UK-based pods, so you may find it pretty quiet. Perhaps the Facebook backlash will encourage more sign-ups.
Available for Android and iOS, Vero was hyped earlier this year as the “new Facebook”, offering many of the same features but with better privacy.
Unlike Facebook, Vero doesn’t use mysterious algorithms, which means your news feed is
organized chronologically, isn’t curated or manipulated in any way, and lets you choose
exactly who can see the content you share.
Best of all, Vero has nos sponsored ads and promises not to sell your information to
third parties. Because Vero doesn’t use paid-for advertising,it plans to make money by charging an annual subscription fee, though the cost has yet to be confirmed. Currently, it’s free for anyone to sign up, but this is partly to compensate for the number of bugs
and outages the service has suffered.
Nextdoor turns Facebook’s local-groups feature into “the private social network for your neighbourhood”, connecting you online with people who live nearby. Users can discuss issues affecting their community; advertise items for sale or free collection; request
and offer services such as decorating, dog walking and house sitting; recommend plumbers, cleaners and other tradespeople; share details of lost and found items; or just have a moan.
Nextdoor’s Facebook-style interface makes it easy to use, but you need to provide your phone number or address to sign up. This helps to deter troublemakers, but you may see it as an invasion of privacy, particularly as your home is then marked on the neighbourhood map (unless you hide it).
Facebook-owned WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, but the data-sharing scandal may make you less confident about the messaging app’s privacy.
In March, the Information Commissioner’s Office ruled it illegal for WhatsApp to share data with Facebook, but this may change once the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force later this month.
If you love to chat, but you no longer feel comfortable using WhatsApp – let alone Facebook Messenger – you’re better off using Signal. Available for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS and Linux, this ultra-secure messaging service also uses end-to-end encryption, but dispenses with privacy-invading notions such as accounts, tracking and cloud backups.
It lets you set messages to self-destruct after a specific length of time and offers encrypted voice and video calls You need to provide your phone number to register with Signal and verify your account, but once you’ve received the confirmation code (or automated voice call), everything thereafter is done online.
The only drawback is that your friends need to be on Signal for you to chat to them, but as it’s quick, easy and free to sign up, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Twitter is far superior to Facebook for breaking news (just don’t believe everything you read), less cluttered with ads and annoyances, and allows you to interact with celebrities and companies on the same level. Conversation is fast, unfiltered and concise, and it’s easy to share photos, videos and GIFs, as well as opinions, jokes and pithy replies.
Unlike Facebook, you don’t have to hand over lots of private data to use Twitter – not even your real name – and can opt out of personalised ads by going to Settings, ‘Privacy and safety’, Personalisation and choosing ‘Disable all’