This is the first update on my review of alternatives to Meta apps (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) that I mention in my 17SEP22 post. Once I have completed all reviews I shall post a summary.
So far I have looked only at apps as potential replacements for Facebook. The review of Instagram and WhatsApp alternatives will follow in due course.
I found just four options: Diaspora, Ello, Minds, and MeWe. I wasn’t able to test Diaspora as it was, for me, too complicated. Here are my findings:
The app was identified as an option after doing a Google search. However, after checking with Apple’s AppStore I was unable to find a link. Another Google search found the link I have provided above but, as the site blurb indicates, one needs to either create or join a pod. Too much* tech for me to deal with so despite the positive notes regarding decentralisation, freedom and privacy (issues that Meta product suffer from) this app is not for me, nor likely to be for any of my contacts.
(* Although I say “too much tech” I have had involvement in computing since the mid 1970s so it isn’t that I don’t understand, its just that I want simple apps that deliver everything I need on a plate with minimal effort on my part!)
I joined Ello a while ago, when the germ of an idea to cut loose from Facebook took root in my head. To be honest I am not sure if this will serve me as a Facebook alternative as Ello is designed specifically for creatives. While I will probably use Ello in place of my gallery (Alan Skyrme Gallery) Facebook page I can’t see me escaping from my main FB page as it is the principle means of staying in touch with friends and family scattered across the four corners of the world.
Once one has downloaded the app and subscribed (and set up ones bio) it is possible to post images, comments and tags in much the same way as with instagram. The number of views, likes and comments are shown and it is possible to repost images or take other action such as copy, print or pin etc.
Users are urged to invite contacts to help grow the network too. I shall post my profile at the end of this post in case any readers are interested in looking at my Ello account or in joining.
I have just one picture uploaded on Ello so far, a test, which has had 550 views, though no “likes” no comments.
I will certainly continue to use Ello, and will probably delete my Alan Skyrme Galley FB page, though not the main personal page (at least not yet).
This app was described on the Simply Computing site as follows:
“Minds is a somewhat anti-establishment Facebook clone. The network is free-speech oriented with no censorship. New users can take advantage of the “migrate from Facebook” function. Saavy users can also generate income via their social networking by getting monthly support for monetized posts and/or ad sharing.”
I had a quick look and decided that it didn’t really appear to be an FB clone. Facebook is used by lots of people to post their thoughts or experiences of the day and to get feedback from their friends. At leats that’s how I use it. Minds seemed, at first glance, to be more of modern version of an old style bulletin board (the sort of thing that one accessed via dial-up modems 30 + years ago).
Downloading the app from the Apple Store was simple. Setting up an account was also easy: email address and password initially (the email address is validated as part of this process) and then more info to get started with posting:
- Tag selection – a minimum of three hashtags to get started
- Set-up channel – a bit of an odd name but takes you to an area where further info is added: Display name (confirmation of the initial set-up name). This can be changed. Bio – I provided my basic bio. Avatar – I uploaded a photo of me that I have used in other social media.
- Verify uniqueness. This is a contact phone number. I added mine, waited for the verification code to arrive but nothing happened. I tried again a couple of times. I then tried with a different number but received an error message.
- Create post. East enough. Similar to FB. There is a limit of 5 hashtags that can be included. There may be a text limit too but I haven’t tested that. The photo I included in the post was one I had recently posted on Instagram.
Posting allows the user to earn tokens, though I presume it occurs only if all of the above fields are completed so I may not be eligible until the phone number is verified. However, I seem to have exceeded some limit or other and trying again has not worked (I added the 9999 sequence merely to hide my actual phone number, for illustration)
I found some interesting discussions, with the usual irrelevant posts by folk wanting to offer sex, but most of it USA-centred subjects. I posted one of my bird paintings (Pied Kingfisher) which attracted 6 views in just over a month. No comments received. I note that even “boosted” posts have varying degrees of success (views).
Not for me. I see the appeal of this channel but it really needs my contacts to subscribe and follow me to generate more followers. So, thanks but no thanks.
I downloaded MeWe from the Apple Store and set up my account with email and a password.
At first glance it seems to be a good FB alternative – similar in appearance and functionality – though there are some Premier (ie pay) functions that I have yet to see any reason to part with my money (I assume to avoid ads).
So far I have made one post but too early to say if it receives comments or “likes”.
More on this when I get a bit more experience
Still to be done!
I am about to start travelling so doubt I will be able to post regularly until I return, though I shall try to post even just a short note each Friday.
The plan is to complete reviews of the following whenever I get a chance:
Thanks for following. I shall be travelling next month but will post a summary of my plans later today.