There is a new social media in town, and it’s slowly taking the world by storm. MeWe, unlike the social media giant Facebook, provides users more privacy protection for its content.
As more people become unhappy with how Facebook maneuvers the platform, particularly the lack of transparency and misinformation issues, MeWe now acts as the best alternative social media platform for the netizens.
While YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are also peppered with privacy protection and advertisement issues, conservative people who trooped to MeWe found the platform more appealing.
MeWe is available in the Google Play Store, App Store, and online, in 19 languages. This social media platform has slowly increased its users to over 18 million as of 2021.
Eileen Brown, of ZD Net, reported that MeWe’s membership rapidly grew by 36 percent in Quarter 1 of 2021 and by an average of 173 percent per year for the last three years.
“The platform boasts that 50 percent of its traffic is outside of North America,” Brown said.
The fascinating background of MeWe
Founded on May 16, 2012 (as Sgrouples), MeWe has its headquarters in Culver City, California, U.S.A.
According to the company, MeWe founder Mark Weinstein “dreamed of the next generation in online communications, envisioning a social and chat app that would give people everywhere the most exciting and helpful sharing technology with privacy built into the design – where members would feel safe and respected.”
Interestingly, MeWe was conceptualized over a dinner between friends who also started social media.
“With Facebook all the rage, they felt something critically human was getting lost: the spirit of our democracy and the backbone of our privacy. The big technology companies, you know who they are, had reverted to treating us as commodities. They somehow mistook people signing up to use their services as a welcome invitation to target, track, spy, and sell our information to advertisers and the government. All in all, it felt pretty creepy,” company said.
Because of this “anti-Facebook” stance, Weinstein founded a revolutionary social media platform “to go head-to-head with Facebook and restore decency, privacy, and respect for social media users.”
Starting as a Sgrouples beta project, MeWe transformed itself as the world’s first social network with privacy-by-design for its users.
During its official launch in 2016, MeWe was awarded the 2016 Start-Up of the Year Finalist for “Innovative World Technology.”
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, also served on MeWe’s Advisory Board. The company maintained that it will offer its members “a communication network they love and trust.”
The influx of MeWe users
Social media users in Hong Kong began to migrate from Facebook to MeWe, noting how Facebook made operations in China. Members said they enjoy the way MeWe provides the services to them. Users are given more control of their newsfeeds. Additionally, they can select what kind of content they want to see on their feeds.
“People worldwide are migrating from Facebook, Instagram, and other major platforms to MeWe because it is the social network that respects its members as customers to serve and delight, not data to share, target, or manipulate,” said Jeffrey Edell, MeWe’s new CEO. He joined the company’s Board of Directors.
“MeWe has achieved remarkable growth with zero paid marketing or member acquisition costs. I am thrilled to lead the company as we position for rapid growth by expanding our marketing efforts and product offerings, bringing on the world’s most compelling content creators, and growing our team to welcome millions of new members in the months ahead,” Edell added.
While MeWe provides a freemium business strategy or free forever, users can also upgrade to MeWe Premium for $4.99 per month. This upgrading model offers members to features like cloud storage custom themes, video journals, sticker packs, voice/video calling, and custom emoji, among others.
“I reckon that more and more people are attracted to MeWe for brand pages because their content gets to all of their followers regardless of how often they post. On Facebook or Instagram content is throttled depending on how popular the user is,” wrote Brown,
The lack of advertisements and the simplicity provided by MeWe is also a welcome development to the users.
“My life is composed of me and then my ‘we,’ which is everybody that’s part of my life. That’s the we. It resonates really well with people. People love our name. We get a lot of thumbs up on our brand,” Weinstein said of the company’s brand.
Some interesting facts about MeWe
- MeWe gets a surge of memberships when supporters of then-US President Donald Trump look for a new social media platform to avoid Twitter and Facebook.
- MeWe offers an advertisement-free experience to the users.
- MeWe’s founder Mark Weinstein is known as one of the social media pioneers.
- As early as 1998, Mark Weinstein created SuperGroups, an early form of social networking site. However, the investors shut it down in 2001.
- MeWe’s users also received a personal message from its founder, Mark Weinstein, reminding them of the platform’s rules: “No Ads, No Targeting, No Political Bias, No Newsfeed Manipulation, and No BS!”
- MeWe is also competing with the social network Parler.
- According to its founder, MeWe isn’t trying to replicate other existing social media platforms.
- Consequently, MeWe is the second most downloaded free social networking app on Apple’s App Store.
- MeWe got 218,000 new installs on the App Store and Google Play in the U.S. during the recent election period, mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower reported.
- In 2018, MeWe raised $5.2 million, bringing its total funding to $10 million, Mashable reported.
- Some of the big celebrity investors of MeWe include Lynda.com founder, Lynda Weinman, fashion designer Rachel Roy, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the internet.
- In 2020, Hong Kong citizens trooped to MeWe, following the potential pro-China censorship of Facebook.
- Conservatives in the US flocked to MeWe after Facebook and Twitter services took a firmer stance on misinformation and hate speech before the recent election.