Opensource/Blockchain Alternatives to Facebook/Meta
Facebook is a great way to connect and keep in contact with friends. Especially now that Mark Zuckerberg has announced its plans to change the name to Meta, and expand into the metaverse. There’s one problem, and it’s that Facebook is stealing, and selling all of your data.
Knowing that a company is profiting off of selling your information to others is scary, namely when it is a company as large as Facebook. It can be hard to get off Facebook, however, as it really is a useful tool. If only someone would create an open-source alternative to the social media platform.
Well, the good news is various people have realized this problem and they have created open-source alternatives to the website. Keep reading to find out more about them, and the services they offer.
The first alternative on our list is a platform by the name of Minds. Minds does everything that Facebook does, such as allowing people to create blogs, videos, channels, and groups, but without the censorship. Minds is run on a completely free-speech mindset meaning you can say whatever you would like to say.
There are no advertisements on Minds, rather the platform runs on a donation basis as not to destroy the user experience. Chatting is encrypted on Minds, so the government can’t spy on your conversation. You can upvote content you would like to see more of and downvote content you don’t like similar to Reddit. The entire website is open-sourced. Minds is run on blockchain technology, and users are rewarded from their followers for content in BTC, Ethereum, and USD
There is one problem with Minds though, and this is that they have a section where you can find people near you similar to Tinder or Bumble. Although this may seem like a cool feature, one has to question how they are getting your location data. So if you do decide to use minds, be aware of this feature and research when the information is derived from before you let the platform have your location information.
Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, many people have known that Facebook was going down the wrong path for decades. This led to the rise of a social media platform called diaspora* which has actually been around since 2010.
Diaspora* specifically focuses on creating a Facebook experience that is private. While diaspora* is marketed this way, it’s important to note that the website does store data, but it does so using technology that is similar to blockchain technology. It isn’t decentralized, but you will get to pick the pod (similar to a node) where your data is stored.
Diaspora* is easy to use and you can control exactly who sees your content. Hopefully, in the future, this company will consider using blockchain technology to store data because then it’s a platform people will truly be able to get behind.
Mastodon is another non-blockchain social media platform, which allows users to build and join communities. The leader of these communities can boot and add people as they see fit.
There is no oversight to the Mastodon platform, as it is completely decentralized. Anyone can add or better the platform as they please. You can also share attachments, such as pictures and videos, without worrying about Facebook taking credit for it. Mastodon is free for everyone to use and truly puts social media back in the hands of users.
The only downside of Mastodon is that isn’t the most user-friendly on this list and there have been some issues with the freedom of speech set up of the website. But give it a try and you might just find that it is user-friendly enough to be better than data-thieving Facebook.
If you like the setup of Mastodon, you will love using Friendica. Friendica doesn’t run on blockchain technology but does require that each user run their own server in order to participate. Friendica is completely decentralized, private, and interoperable.
Switching from Friendica is easy, as you can import contacts from Facebook as well as other social media apps (including diaspora*). You can also share posts from Friendica on sites like WordPress and Google Buzz keeping you more connected than ever before.
Want to try Friendica but don’t know anything about running a server? You can also join on a friend's server, as long as they give you permission to do so.
The final platform to make this list is Hubzilla, which is another decentralized version of Facebook. Unlike Friendica and Mastodon, Hubzilla has an interface that you will recognize because it is very similar to the set-up of Facebook. You can even do all the same things, such as post content, start discussions, and create threads.
Hubzilla doesn’t function on blockchain technology, but it does run several different servers to support different communities. No hub/server is owned by anyone, and freedom of speech reigns supreme.
Hubzilla has lots of great privacy features and allows you to create a digital identity that you can use on the platform. If you are a developer, you are welcome to create and build on the open-source code as you see fit truly making Hubzilla a platform that is run by the people.
Blockchain Social Media Alternatives
As you can see, there are many alternatives to Facebook and other social media platforms, but only one of them is based on blockchain technology. This is because blockchain technology is still relatively new.
There are many up-and-coming social media networks out there that are run on blockchain technology, the problem is, they aren’t very famous yet. Therefore you can sign up, but it is unlikely any of your friends will be using the platform (and what is social media without the social aspect?)
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sign up, as it takes one individual to move a village, just be aware that you might be a bit lonely posting for a while. Here are the current blockchain technology social media platforms:
- Obsidian (mostly a messaging app)
- Indorse (alternative to LinkedIn)
- SocialX (Still in development)
None of these is quite the replacement for Facebook, at least not as close as Minds is. Hopefully, in the future, this will change, but for now, if you want to network without Mark Zuckerberg earning money for your personal data, Minds is the way to go.