Fed Up with Facebook? Switch to One of these 7 Alternatives

Facebook Alternatives Social Featured

Facebook is unparalleled as a tool for social connection and organization but also has privacy issues, constant tracking, and security breaches. Competing social networks, regardless of how good their features are, tend to be underpopulated simply because they haven’t yet accumulated a critical mass of users. If you’re looking to diversify your social media, the Facebook alternatives below, tiny as they are in comparison, are some of your best bets.

Note: The “active user” counts are mostly reported by the services themselves, and the exact standards used to measure them may vary.

1. WT Social

Users: 10 million weekly active users (as reported in February 2021)

Has ads: No

Available: Web

WT Social is a social network that claims to be the exact opposite of Facebook, calling itself “the non-toxic” social network. The service was created by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and focuses mainly on interactions based on text and images.

Interestingly, you can choose to log in with your Facebook or Twitter account or create a new account altogether. Next, you’ll be invited to follow your interests through the relevant subwikis so that WT Social can build your feed.

Facebook Alternatives Social Wt Social

You can connect with people on the network by searching for them using the relevant search bar at the top. You can also interact via the Talk feature. While the basics are definitely there, more advanced features – like groups, events and more – are absent with WT Social.

On the bright side, WT Social dos not collect or sell your data. Moreover, advertisers don’t have a say in what’s shown on your feed. We should also note that the network has also taken a stance against misleading content. Hence, it allows contributors to edit content that has been flagged as misinformation.

2. MeWe

Users: 16 million users (as reported in January 2021)

Has ads: No

Available on: Android, iOS, Web

Judging by sheer numbers, MeWe (Android | iOS) is currently the most viable of the many Facebook alternatives. While only some of its 16 million registered users are active, they’re more than enough to sustain several communities and keep the app going. It has many of the features you’d expect from Facebook, including groups, private chats, tagging, content permissions, and even a few extras, like cloud storage and custom profiles for different groups.

Facebook Alternatives Social Networks Mewe

Some features require subscription fees, like extra cloud storage, encrypted chat, live voice, video calling, pages, dark mode, etc. This is mostly how MeWe makes money, as it is an ad-free social network that doesn’t track you or sell your data.

MeWe keeps your feed strictly unfiltered and chronological, and that reflects the platform’s general policy of not interfering with your content.

The app itself may not blow you away, but it fees complete and doesn’t have a steep learning curve if you’re coming from Facebook. The interface, combined with user numbers, puts it on the list of main Facebook competitors. Yet, it’s not open source or decentralized, which may turn off those who don’t want to trust a single entity.

3. Mastodon

Users: 2 – 3 million accounts, approx. 1 million active users

Has ads: No

Available on: iOS, Web

While it’s more similar to Twitter in terms of feel and functionality, Mastodon nonetheless earns a spot among the top Facebook alternatives in this list, thanks to its relatively sizeable population, effective decentralization, user-friendly interface, and community moderation systems. It’s part of a larger umbrella of services known as the Fediverse, which means it runs using an open-source software standard that allows anyone to host servers and control their own data.

When you set up an account, you’ll have to pick a server (generally associated with an interest of yours) to host it. You’ll be able to access content from every other Mastodon “instance,” as well as other ActivityPub-based social networks like Friendica or PixelFeed.

Facebook Alternatives Social Mastodon

Mastodon is ad-free, the feed is entirely chronological and unsorted, and the system isn’t collecting information on you. However, unless you want to set up your own instance, you still have to put some trust in the person hosting your account data.

The server host also sets the rules for it, including the type of content they allow. Since anyone can run a server, there are instances that allow basically anything to be posted. Only those that abide by the Mastodon Server Covenant’s reliability and moderation guidelines are listed on the main site.

Twitter users will have an easier time adjusting to Mastodon than Facebook users, but it’s a fine way to keep up with people and groups, as long as you don’t mind a few missing features. Basically, if Twitter doesn’t have it, Mastodon probably doesn’t either.

4. Diaspora

Users: 800,000 accounts, 40,000 active users

Has ads: No

Available on: Web, Android (not functional)

Diaspora is one of the oldest Facebook alternatives (started in 2010), and as part of the Fediverse, it’s open source and available for anyone to use and host. Users can choose a so-called “pod” to store their data and set up an account there. Once their info is on that server, they can interact with any other user on the network, regardless of host location.

It comes with roughly the same privacy standards as Mastodon. There’s no advertising, tracking, or data-selling, but you still have to trust the owner of your pod to some degree. You always have the option of hosting your own if you want maximum control.

Facebook Alternatives Social Diaspora

Diaspora’s interface is easy to use. Facebook/Twitter users will feel relatively at home. It has messaging, hashtagging, and an unsorted newsfeed but is missing groups, events, and other things you may have grown used to on Facebook. Development is rather slow, so these features probably aren’t going to come soon unless there’s a resurgence of interest. Diaspora has been around for a long time, though, and is at least worth considering when comparing Facebook alternatives.

While Diaspora has an Android app listed on F-Droid (alternative to Google Play), it does not appear to be functional at the time of publishing.

5. Minds

Users: 1.25+ million accounts, 200,00+ active users

Has ads: No

Available on: Android, iOS, Web

Minds (Android | iOS), also dubbed the crypto social network, is an open-source, privacy-orientated, community-moderated alternative to Facebook and has managed to attract many. It also uses an Ethereum-based token to reward content creators and run a digital economy within the network. It employs a decentralized governance system, where randomly selected users can vote on content moderation decisions. The infrastructure itself isn’t decentralized in the way Mastodon and Diaspora are, but they are considering a similar node-based system.

Facebook Alternatives Social Networks Minds

In terms of features, Minds stacks up fairly well against Facebook. You can set up groups, send messages, posts, comment, browse a chronological newsfeed, and do most other basic things you’d expect from a social networking service. New users will find the interface intuitive, especially if they’re coming from Facebook.

There aren’t any third-party ads being served on Minds (and no tracking). Members can pay Minds Tokens to “boost” their content into users’ newsfeeds and sidebars.

6. Vero

Users: Unknown

Has ads: No

Available: Android, iOS

Vero (Android | iOS) is a gorgeous Facebook alternative that gives you a greater level of control over who sees your posts and preferences (friends, close friends, acquaintances, followers, etc). Once you’ve joined the network, you can easily search for people or hashtags by tapping the spyglass icon at the bottom of the display, then start building your timeline.

Facebook Alternatives Social Networks Vero

Another of the app’s main highlights is its chronological timeline. It shows posts in the order in which they were published. The feed is not cluttered by ads or sponsored content, so you can see what you truly care about. Vero is also an aggregate of music, books, movies and games, so you can show your friends what you’re filling your time with. If you feel like interacting with your friends, you can do so via messages or calls from within the app.

7. Ello

Users: Unknown

Has ads: No

Available: Android, iOS

If you’re passionate about art, then Ello (Android | iOS) is definitely something you should be checking out. It’s not a standard social network – but one geared toward artists and art lovers. If you usually use social media to get up to speed with what’s new in the world, Ello might not be your cup of tea. Unless yours revolves around art.

Facebook Alternatives Social Networks Ello

Making a profile on Ello is fairly easy. Once you’re granted access via email confirmation, you can select your interests from a list. Then you’re free to explore all the content Ello has to offer, identify new people to follow and even get access to job opportunities. What’s more, artists can even sell their work through the platform.

You can like, share and comment on work that appeals to you and follow creators for more. Searching for more relevant content on the platform can be done via hashtags or the Discover tab. As you browse the network, you’ll notice that Ello has no ads. There’s also no forwarding of user data for advertising purposes. Moreover, the service does not force users to use their real name, as is currently the case with Facebook.

Ello is by no means your typical social media platform, but if you’re an art enthusiast, you may want to give it a go. It certainly offers quite a different experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is it a good idea to consider at Facebook alternatives?

There are many reasons to consider jumping ship to another social network. Over the years, Facebook has garnered much criticism – mostly for its ever-changing privacy settings. Scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica affair and other data leaks have tainted the public’s perception of the social network. In one of the most recent debacles, it was discovered that Facebook data belonging to 533 million users was leaked. Additionally, taking a break from Facebook may be beneficial for one’s mental health, as addiction to mainstream social apps has become a real issue in recent years.

2. I have nothing to hide, so why should I care about privacy?

Protecting your privacy on social media is important – in more ways than you may realize. Learn more about why privacy on social media should be your main concern.

3. What can I expect after making the switch?

The biggest obstacle you’ll encounter when going through the Facebook alternatives is how unusually deserted all of them seem in comparison. That’s why the best transition tactic is probably to go with a group. If you’re starting some kind of community or meetup, consider using something like MeWe or Minds as your online meeting place. If you just need a way to keep up with a few select people, pretty much any of the alternatives listed above (except perhaps Ello) will work for you.

If you’re still not ready to make the switch from Facebook, then perhaps you’d like to get up to speed with our list of the best third-party Facebook clients that can enhance your overall experience. Alternatively, learn how to search Facebook like a pro for people, posts, businesses and more.

Alexandra Arici Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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