Nearly half of Facebook (iOS, Android) users age 18 to 29 years old deleted the app in the last year in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The social media site has been trying to regain favor as the fleeing user base moves to other platforms.
The site boasts adding 30,000 members daily without running advertisements.
Bucking the status quo
"MeWe's rapid growth is due to multiple factors: backlash against Facebook's broad censorship, privacy infractions, and LGBTQ violations; discontent at Twitter for censorship of conservatives; the announced closure of Google+; and recent policy changes at Tumblr," MeWe said.
MeWe's page in the Google Play Store seems to be a symbolic demonstration that its users don't approve of Facebook's lack of data privacy. While using the app to document their protests, the youth in the video move through a city spreading the message "Not For Sale." When they take a selfie, they hold two fingers across their eyes, like an anonymity black bar.
Anyone who joins MeWe is apparently protected under a Privacy Bill of Rights. In the document, the company promises that your data is your own, it won't tailor ads to you and filter your timeline, and your content is in your control.
When users take the MeWe Challenge, the site asks which social media platforms you use. After I entered my own, the site told me I had at least 92 tracking cookies (allegedly) "stalking me."
"I've migrated to MeWe simply because I cannot stand Zuckerberg's BS anymore. The ads, the infringement of privacy, the way Facebook makes people believe it's an essential part of their lives. Also [Facebook] has become political," one review said in the Google Play Store.
How does it work?
The social media site still includes the sharing and communications aspects of mainstream sites. Users can share photos, videos, voice messages, chat, and more. The only thing missing, according to MeWe, is the "BS."
Users can respond to posts with a Like, and send emojis, memes, and GIFs. There's an option to use a disappearing content feature, which is similar to Stories in mainstream social media. The content will appear for a set period of time, and then disappear.
MeWe privacy settings are customizable so you can control who sees your posts. The app boasts heavy-duty encryption to ensure secure one-on-one or group messages. MeWe's Privacy Mail feature is like Facebook Messenger (iOS, Android).
The app promises 8GB of free storage space and that MeWe, itself, will always be free. There are special features available and extra storage for a fee. For example, upgrading to 50GB of storage is $5 per month.
Users can pay for access to Secret Chat and Custom Emojis for $0.99 per month each. The company is planning to launch MeWe pages, which will cost $3 per month soon.
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- MeWe, a social media app, claims to be the "anti-Facebook." The site promises users all the perks of social media without having to compromise on privacy.
- In a press release, the company said it has grown more than 300 percent this year and adds 30,000 users daily.
- How to protect your Facebook privacy by removing unwanted apps
- Facebook reveals that it's measuring you on a scale of 'trustworthiness in its fight against fake news
- Facebook's Onavo VPN app becomes central to privacy invasion controversy
- Will the redesigned Facebook Messenger recapture its glory?
- Internal Facebook documents highlight how valuable user data is (CNET)
- The biggest culprit in the Facebook debacle (ZDNet)
- Facebook data privacy scandal: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Why social media fatigue is spreading (TechRepublic)