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Thousands flock to Wikipedia founder's 'Facebook rival' (bbc.co.uk)
376 points by tooba 7 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 261 comments

To all the people poking fun at "thousands"... You have to start somewhere, and I'm sure you'd be tickled pink to see thousands of new users signing up for your app...

If I was the co-founder of one of the top websites in the world that had to pivot from my shitty news organization into what looks like a shitty version of Diaspora, I’m not so sure I’d be thrilled with “thousands.”

You need network effects for social network rivals to take off. That isn’t to say there won’t be a Facebook successor (there almost certainly will be one — the big challenge for Facebook is if it has a piece of that or not), but just as Diaspora, Google+, Peach, Ello, App.net, Gab, Mastadon, and any other number of attempts at this have failed (calling Mastadon a failure is unfair, but its not Twitter and won’t ever be), so will this.

Snap was a threat to Facebook’s core messaging properties (WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram), so Instagram had to blatantly copy Snap to win back momentum. Snap is still a thing, but unless it leans into the fact that it isn’t owned by Facebook (which is ultimately what hurts WA and Instagram), it isn’t ever going to catch-up, especially on a global level. TikTok has the sort of network effect Vine never had, and could be a real contender for the next generation, even with its ownership questions. Twitch and YouTube still have opportunities for growth — and there is still lots of room for innovation in the live video space.

And look, maybe this will be a really nice niche community for a small group of people. I hope it is. I hope the people that signup and pay for it enjoy it. I hope Wales doesn’t get bored when it doesn’t have tons of users and make tons of money.

There is a market for small community social networks. Not everything has to be the scale of Facebook — I’d argue it’s better when things aren’t that size — but let’s not pretend we’re not talking about this because it’s being positioned as something that is “taking on” the giant — when it would be more helpful - but make for a poorer headline/narrative - to say, “rich dude wants to recreate The Well for a generation of users who doesn’t know what The Well was.”

> Mastadon, and any other number of attempts at this have failed (calling Mastadon a failure is unfair, but its not Twitter and won’t ever be), so will this.

Who says that success should be measured by Twitter? It may be that no other social network approaches Twitter and Facebook in size given their dominance, but that doesn't mean that there can be no other social networks.

In my opinion, one-size-fits-all social was a mistake to begin with. Smaller niche spaces (like HN) are much more interesting.

To think of it another way: did your favorite local bistro "fail" as a restaurant because it didn't become as large as McDonald's? Which one would you rather eat at?

Absolutely agree. I hate this trend of measuring success by comparing small products to massive bloated giants of tech. You don't have to get to that level to be a success, and you're honestly probably better off if you don't.

Big social media companies are now seen as responsible for the destruction and compromise of democracy and have many more problems which wouldn't exist if they weren't so universally adopted.

I hope the future is full of many smaller niche social media sites that cater to a smaller group instead of trying to appeal to everyone.

The usefulness of a general "social network" is how many people it has. If I can't find almost everyone I know on it, and they are on a different platform (Facebook) it's easier for me to just use the other platform. People feel like they need it to keep in touch with others they don't see often (or even just others in general).

I personally don't have any major social media accounts, just small ones like HN - but I understand why people feel the need to use larger ones.

Are general social networks actually useful though? In mature markets, you have a huge chunk of people that have logged off Facebook permanently.

What matters is the people I want to interact with, and in Seattle they are on Mastodon. Not everyone needs to be on it, and frankly if close to everyone were on it you'd potentially drive away a good subset of users. That being said, by design I can retain my feed of friends on Mastodon without fear of some corporation or eternal spring of new users wrecking it.

A lot more common than logging off permanently is logging off except. I've logged off Facebook, except there are some Groups I'd be sad to lose touch with. For some people, they're off Facebook, except there are people they only contact through Messenger. Some are off Facebook except they like to see what Grandma says. As long as there's an 'except', Facebook still has that user.

That's something for Facebook (the company) to fear rather than hold dear, I think.

I too was 'logged off except' a wealth of university-related groups. Then I was 'logged off during' writing up my dissertation, and finally just 'logged off'.

(And now I'm still contributing to user count, while continually thinking I should just log in to delete my account, as I've heard a couple of times from people that thought I was 'on Facebook' or 'what happened to your profile' and maybe more people that think I'm just ignoring them than I'm aware of.)

> Are general social networks actually useful though

I'm not a big Facebook user, but my parents have been caught up in the bush fires currently raging in Australia and got cut off from power and internet (no power for satellite internet, and the mobile mast ran out of backup power), and finding a local Facebook group created to discuss the fires was fantastically helpful, I got in touch with their rural route mailman and people in the local village and found a bunch of good local news sources.

In comparison there was nearly nothing on Twitter (one Sydney reporter who was tweeting from her dispatch for two or three days). Main-stream news sites were utterly useless with no detail in their reports. Without Facebook I would have had drastically less information and more worry.

This all happened once before. Compuserve, AOL, prodigy, all had mail systems that were walled gardens. Eventually gateways were established. When the users want it it will happen.

matrix.org is best modern gateway to date.

I remember MySpace being a place where I could explore the ideas I wanted with people all over the world.

There was a clear, forum-inherited structure to most groups. It kept me coming back, day after day.

Google+ had a similar appeal - I dont know you, I dont care. I like what you have to offer, so I'm getting to know you.

Bridging that into meatspace relationships by frontloading them first? Was straining - I realized how little my peers cared for what they even do. Flooding that feed with game-spam? Negated the premise. And turning it into infinite-scroll of bad takes to drive engagement just turned me temporarily, but deeply misanthropic.

Turning online into afk relationships and friendships made all of this worthwhile. Facebook had that for a bit with their "events" features... But those got nerfed into being useless without an advertising firm's budget.

I, for one? Am happy to join somewhere that respects my time.

Mastodon is successful for sure, but it isn't successful enough to overcome the incumbent in the space, which is what we're talking about. That isn't a bad thing, but it's important to add that context when looking at anything else that is being heralded as "the next X."

That's literally why I added the caveat of saying "Mastodon isn't a failure" -- but it hasn't overcome the incumbent and it won't and that may not have been the goal, but that is certainly the story that was told/sold "this OSS de-centralized app is going to replace Twitter," if not by the founders, than by the press/people excited by the idea.

To think in terms of there even being a next "incumbent in the space" implies a misunderstanding of what is driving Mastodon adoption.

The differentiator behind Mastodon is federation via the ActivityPub protocol. And Mastodon is just one implementation of ActivityPub. More are being built every day.

It's likely that a world with ubiquitous ActivityPub would look very different from the social media landscape of today -- Mastodon is a little like Twitter, Pixelfed is a little like Instagram, Peertube is a little like Youtube, but they all syndicate their content to each other. So as ActivityPub grows the conventional categories blur. What happens if WordPress decides to add ActivityPub support to the Core?

I can't read the future but I think the real metric to look at is ActivityPub adoption. No one is tracking it very well right now to my knowledge. And if it hits a certain critical mass I think it will start to reconfigure the current categories of social media. It will also bring down barriers to entry which may discourage the rise of incumbents similar to today's crop.

I love the idea of ActivityPub, but in practice, I think the very complex protocol, which is built on top of JSON-LD (I still don't understand why) of all things, and accepts variable structures for many, if not most fields, which makes it cumbersome to (de)serialize in languages with static typing, will hurt adoption by new projects.

My main gripe with it is that potentially writing a spec-compliant server in an enterprise-y language like Java almost feels like a fool's errand (I tried it in Dart, which is very Java-esque).

On that note, I don't even think that the main focus should be on which protocol is used, but rather the features of platforms in the "fediverse," and reasons other than the blanket term "privacy" that the average person would consider switching.

There are tons of differing implementations like PeerTube, PixelFed (Instagram-esque), Lemmy (Federated Reddit/HN), Write.as (great for blogging on the fediverse and closed platforms at the same time), Pleroma, etc

Yet out of those, which actually implement the full spec (server-to-server, not to mention client-to-server, though I do think I remember reading that Pleroma has it), or even if they implement parts of it, do it in a compliant way? I would imagine the number is small because of the sheer complexity of the spec, and the many ways the same data can appear in different requests. I remember reading one of the Pleroma authors saying that they don't support JSON-LD in their implementation because no library for it existed in Elixir.

Like I said, I'm a fan of ActivityPub and its concept, but I think it's fair to say that spec is more complex than what it needs to be, and would have been better off strictly defining the shape of data it can handle.

> Mastodon is successful for sure, but it isn't successful enough to overcome the incumbent in the space, which is what we're talking about. That isn't a bad thing, but it's important to add that context when looking at anything else that is being heralded as "the next X."

Are we talking about that? I don't think so... why must everyone "overcome" the incumbent?

Sure, Facebook is the goto for "general purpose" social networking between friends and family. On the other hand, Facebook is terrible for following and discussing the news, unless you like a huge heap of bias and low-quality clickbait. WT Social is planning to address that niche. Facebook is also terrible if you want to keep up with a huge volume of tech news and follow interesting discussions on those topics with lots of expert contributors. HN fills that niche, but sometimes there is too much politics here, so Lobste.rs exists for people who prefer smaller, more focused conversation.

The "long tail" in the social space is huge. Not every venture needs or wants to be the next Amazon in its space.

> if not by the founders, than by the press/people excited by the idea.

And that's the problem. The press doesn't know what they are talking about.

To think of Twitter as one-size-fits-all is a mistake. People aren’t staying connected with just friends and family like Facebook.

It’s scale allows niches to spontaneously coalesce and grow stronger over time.

While I absolutely agree that niche spaces that fit your interests tend to have much higher content quality, this argument doesn't quite apply to social networks that attach to your IRL persona. No point in switching until most your IRL connections are there.

In this case, if all your friends hang out at McDonalds, you're not gonna want to sit at your local bistro alone.

I'm not sure that a large network is essential. A strong niche is. Owning the market in an influential niche can be enough. Facebook's rise came from universities.

It seems unlikely that this particular new network will succeed, but if it provides value to a tight-knit set of users, it can plant roots and grow.

Maybe, but then you have a different financial model being played out with it being subscritpion based and no small fee either. This changes how it can be marketed and the pyrimid approach would not supprise me in that once the subscriptions level of, they offer them referal links in which they get $1 a month for people subscribing via their link after their extended trial period of say 90 days.

At least, that is what I would be looking at doing. Certainly the monthly fee is high, so what level they break even in running costs will be lower and may well be that they already break even in running and depreciation of assets -costs. May even be a small monthly profit already. We just don't know.

It would be a social network that excludes the poor and the frugal.

It reminds me of a network that was created for the extreme rich, a few years ago. On searching for it, I find that there have been several such created: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2014/09/social-networks-for-... That was written in 2014, so perhaps there are more since then.

A lots of this is true. I can only debate what networks need to have. Facebook became popular not because social effect but because it used "on behalf" emails to spam friends of users with optout error by design and because of automated scraping emails from an email account when user got lured to give login and password. Than it was new, now these things have special words to describe it.

Isn't he controlling the throttle with limited "free" signups and the pricing to go around it? A assume he must be happy since he's controlling the growth rate. It's not clear how fast it would be growing without a throttle on "free".

> there is still lots of room for innovation in the live video space.

I always thought human experiments online would be huge with combining live video space, experiment ideas, text chat and a reward system.

> (calling Mastadon a failure is unfair, but its not Twitter and won’t ever be),

Likewise Facebook isn't Myspace and never will be. Does this mean Facebook is a failure?

it’s 160,000 in two days. that’s insane growth.

Both sides are in the wrong. Comparing the numbers of the first few days to Facebook suggests either ill intent or willful ignorance, while praising a new start-up as a Facebook rival without baking up that claim with some relatable rationale indicates bias or an agenda.

Facebook aims to cover anyone's every need which could come up in a social interaction or how communication could occur. In other words, FB is a communication, an entertainment and a business platform. WT:Social, on the other hand, seems to be an evolution of the WikiTribune diving into the social market world, yet continuing its focus on reporting and fact-based information sharing. This involves work which isn't all too appealing to the general public.

Seriously. Mastodon started at thousands. People wrote articles insisting it would never go anywhere. It's still growing with thousands of instances for every sort of community three years after the dismissive op-eds started, and it didn't have the benefit of a major profile promoting it.

The largest Mastodon instance is full of content that isn't exactly allowed on traditional social media (i.e. lolicon). I don't think WT:Social will have the same competitive advantage.

Technically speaking, the largest Mastodon instance is full of content that isn't exactly allowed on traditional social media (i.e. far-right extremism). See https://fediverse.network/

Which is going to be an anti-selling point for a lot of people.

It depends how well the blocking features will be advertised. "Lots of extremists have converged at xxx.social. You can block them all in one go." sounds better to me than what's happening in Twitter.

Agreed, federated instance is a way better solution than Twitter blocklists. In fact, I think Mastodon was designed to combat such extremists from day one, so even with the alt-right’s foray into the fediverse things will go at least better than Twitter.

Yes. At least Jimbo is trying. He might fail, but at least he tried. Network effect is a bitch, as others already noted.

Its not the number which makes me chuckle, its the relative importance the number is given, and the associated tone. A sensible headline would be:

"Wikipedia have launched a social media site, based around sharing news"

I hear you but Facebook, for better or worse, is the social networking site everyone you know is on. It has a tremendous advantage over any upstart for that reason. Lots of geeky folks flocked to Google+ in its early days but that wasn't enough to replace Facebook. Even when they gave everyone who had a Google account of some kind a G+ profile it still wasn't enough. I will definitely check this out but it'll be back to FB when I need to know what my friends are up to.

Google+ always had a weird broken interface and they just never finished it. I was one of the geeks that flocked to it, and had plenty of friends there. It didn't fail because of network effects, it failed because they stopped working on it before it was finished.

It was really strange and I always assumed at the time that Facebook and Google had come to some agreement behind the scenes.

It really was strange, continues to be, the way Google wanders away from products before finishing them.

I get ditching things that don't work, but G+ is a great example of something that had plenty of traction in it's early days and, as far as I can see, lost it purely because G didn't seem to care about it.

As a big fan of their Nexus line of mobile phones, I concur. They weren't perfect, but they were solid, stock Android devices at a reasonable cost.

Then they ditched them all of a sudden, and now we have premium-priced Pixels that fall well short of the competition.

Can you elaborate on what you mean? From inside Google at the time, the general consensus was that they cared too much about it, at the cost of much of the rest of the company.

From the outside it appeared to be a bare framework that was never fully developed.

I didn't use it often but I checked on it periodically just to keep up on what was, hopefully, going to be a contender in the social media world. What I saw was almost no change in user facing functionality over the course of it's existence.

There also didn't seem to be any significant attempt at marketing, monetization or collaboration with the community.

Meanwhile there were significant influencers and content producers with large numbers of followers. The dream of any social media company.

I always assumed it folded because they couldn't agree on a path to monetization.

But from the perspective that they actually did care about it (which I read as they devoted significant resources to it even if that didn't translate to anything that was publicly visible)... It starts to sound more like a company that's hit the self hobbling critical mass of size and internal bureaucracy.

What did it look like from the inside?

People were generally pretty irritated (as was the public) by the integration of every Google product into it. Leadership (both internally and externally) was pretty clear that it was meant to be a platform, one that unified all of Google's products with a shared social layer.

I worked in research at the time and have never been a heavy social media user, so it didn't really affect me much, but the internal story seems to fit reality more than what you're describing: the change in user facing functionality was progressive integration of Google products (like YouTube)

And Google broke their social network that was actually working (Google Reader), hoping that the now "homeless" users would flock to Google+.

I don't know why they thought that this kind of bullshit would work on "techies" (the core audience of Google Reader) - that just made them wake up and realize that Google's "Don't be Evil" motto was a sham...

> the social networking site everyone you know is on

As for Facebook the site, this is less and less true. I have kids cross different age ranges, and Facebook is not a thing at all for any of them or their social groups. And whenever someone wants to organize things via Facebook, there is always a lot of pushback from people who don't/won't use it.

Their other properties, Whatsapp and Instagram, are very popular, but they serve slightly different functions. So either there is a vacuum left from Facebook (the site), or the market has simply shifted and no longer wants a MySpace/Facebook type platform.

As another experience, I've yet to meet someone aged 20 and up that doesn't have Facebook neither in Texas nor Mexico and I'm meeting people constantly 20-40.

I'm sure they have Whatsapp, Instagram, and other apps, but I've never met someone who couldn't at least provide a Facebook profile when asked and then communicate with me on it.

It seems hard to draw on your kids' experiences until they at least enter university or the work force and are actually meeting new people. I never had a Snapchat until a cute woman asked me if I had one. Now I have one ready to go.

Facebook wasn't even available until I entered university, but that's also when the rolodex becomes useful. Not so much in highschool where, even in my massive school, I still wasn't meeting so many people nor had much control over my social life compared to uni.

So I'm wary of people extrapolating from what kids do. People have been saying the death of FB is just around the corner, "just look at what kids use" for years.

Of course, a lot of this also depends where you live, like how Americans will use iMessage while that's basically unheard of in other parts of the world.

Google+ was... simply terrible. MySpace was a superior product for the end-user, much less FB.

You'd think you would need a lot more than "thousands" for it to be called an actual trend worthy of an article.

It's at least around 300,000 as of 9PM EST based on the waiting list page I received.

It's actually hundreds of thousands and they are paying users.

I agree with everything you said, but I still think "thousands" is way too low for newsworthiness. Social networks need a critical mass before they are good for anything. Surely that number has to be in the millions, right?

Well, Twitter was seen as a failure in 2009 compared to Facebook at the time. What constitutes to mass adoption is if several so-called 'influencers' try it out and if they make more money on the platform than both Twitter/Facebook and if the social network allows advertisers on there too. Then the millions of users will follow suit. Its that simple and it is has worked for Snap and it is working for TikTok.

If there is no gain or incentive for the famous users or the so called 'influencers', then the 'millions of users' will stay where the famous users are.

The "critical" mass however doesn't refer to absolute numbers. A million users with no relation to each other don't make it work. A few thousand with a tight network relationship cn make a busy place.

Do you think HN is in the millions of users?

The metric relevant for social network sustainable growth seem unlikely to be total user count. It’s probably a mixture of metrics around inter-connectivity and rate of adjacent edge growth.

That number is multiplied by the social cred of Wikipedia. Right?

While 160,000 is a very small number compared to Facebook's user base, it's two orders of magnitude more than what the "thousands"in the title made me imagine. A more generous title would have used something like "a sixth of a million".

Someone else in the thread is implying it’s closer to 190k. At any rate we are now into “hundreds of thousands”.

241693 right now.

Yeah. Thousands is nothing. Hundreds of thousands on the other hand is a strong start (though it will remain to be seen how many of those 160k users remain on there).

I agree. The title should have said "more than half a million people". then it would have sounded better.

It's not true though..? 160k is not more than half a million

Maybe the above was sarcasm?

Good, but I think the "Facebook" model is dead by now.

I've listened to a podcast recently about how the younger generation (00's onwards) don't even use social networks the way they're designed anymore. They keep multiple accounts/personas, they post ephemeral content, delete content, etc. It's a lot more about self-expression (Snapchat, TikTok) than having an online presence of your real-life self (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). In a sense, they're undermining the monopolising network effects by creating many disconnected sub-graphs. It's been eye opening.

So, basically, they're rebelling against Facebook's "real name" initiative that completely changed the internet.

I never thought using your real name on the internet was going to catch on. I was terribly mistaken.

But is that because the world has actually changed, of because they are young? Teens have always been counterculture and rejected the status quo. The real question is whether Facebook will be compelling to them when they grow up.

I was a (young) teenager when MySpace was at its peak and was still an (older) teenager when Facebook got big. The thing about things like myspace and facebook is that users are encouraged to make their profile a representation of themselves. Your Facebook profile was meant to be like your avatar that expresses who you are and is an extension of your identity. I think that attitude is where many of the current problems with social media came from. This trend seems like a pretty big shift in attitude. I'm sure it will bring its own problems, but I hope it will also fix some things that make facebook so detrimental to society.

You might be interested in this related article by the founder of Signal. It touches on the same point.


"The device’s address book is now the social network, so using phone numbers as an identifier has reduced switching costs by putting a user’s social network under their control. In a way, the notification center on a mobile device has become the federation point for all communication apps, similar to how older desktop IM clients unified communication across multiple IM networks."

I’d be interested in listening to that podcast, what’s it called?

It's a famous Brazilian podcast, unfortunately there's no transcript, but here's the link: https://www.b9.com.br/shows/braincast/geracao-z/

They had a teenager as guest and the talk dynamic was good, with a lot of Q&A. Since I don't usually interact w/ teenagers I was completely blind to how they were using the web today.

Wow, I didn't know B9 had released an episode on this matter. Thanks for pointing it out!

I can't see this as a Facebook rival. From my understanding, this is a social news site with fact checking.

I use Facebook to post pictures of my vacations for my family, and get updates on my nieces and nephews since I moved from Houston, TX to NYC 5 years ago.

Until someone replaces that aspect in a way that works while still enabling my family to do their memes and quizzes, and all that crap I avoid, there will be no "rival". I HATE Facebook, but I can't get rid of it without losing access to my family.

I similarly relocated away from family. Turns out that if they know you don't use Facebook they will go out of their way to update you directly. Just believe that you are worth it, and my friend, you are.

That, plus if they don't update you personally and all you get from them is passively watching their facebook feed I have bad news for you. I'd take a bi yearly call from my grandma over the daily shitposts of any member of my family that I haven't talked to in 10 years.

Maybe think about calling your grandma more often, before it's too late.

Same here. Going off FB just gives me a reason to call my friends and family, and for them to call me.

I've been trying to get my family to install signal for our family group chat to no avail... i feel signal is so much smoother than fb msgr, but no one outside my techie / ativist friend groups ever agree to even try it.

I think a large part of the difficulty here is that mostly people already use multiple messaging services out of a group including things like vanilla SMS, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Snapchat, and some might eve use all of them, so they're hesitant to add yet another one into the mix. I'd personally be thrilled to delete all of the messaging apps on my phone besides one if the one that remained allowed me to message with my full set of family and friends, but unfortunately that isn't likely to be feasible anytime soon.

remember like a decade back there was a instant messanger aggregator? it was called like, chatzilla or something, i forget. but in the logic of today's walled garden system of tech fiefdoms, would never happen without some regulatory requirement.

I don't have WhatsApp in a country where practically everybody has WhatsApp, and while I certainly get included in enough things and am not dissatisfied (especially since quite a few have now also installed Signal), I'm also certainly getting left out of a lot of things still.

Again, not that much of a problem to me, but certainly something I wouldn't deny is happening.

Agreed! ^ My entire family lives pretty far away, but I facetime with them a lot more often since I got off FB.

I find a group chat on Whatsapp much better than Facebook for keeping up with my immediate family.

I fantasize about a product like that sometimes. A private, pay social site geared towards families. Your family pays a yearly subscription. Photo/video sharing. Event planning. Family news timeline. Everything purely linear. No manipulation to maximize engagement. No ads. Just real information about your family that you care about.

One side of my family has about 30 people that are all willing to travel to meet somewhere every few years. Compared to that expense, it would be trivial for us to share the cost of such a service, even if it were a few hundreds dollars a year.

I've been saying for years I want to make it, but every time I suggest it I get laughed out of the room. I have a few totally "out there" startup ideas, this is one.

The thing about this is, every family has that one person who will pay for this and they keep it updated. Most family members will just lurk, but some will be totally into it.

I bet they would even take things off Facebook and repost in this app so that people off Facebook can see too.

Add to that network the ability to order physical printed copies of photos for cheap automatically sent to your house you could have a goldmine with people who still make photo albums/scrapbook.

You would have to only allow those in your family/inner circle the ability to order your photos but for families who use Facebook just to keep in touch/share baby photos having a social media centered around family groups could be lucrative.

This essentially already exists if you put a little effort into it. You could set up a Diaspora, Mastodon or Pixelfed instance open to just to family members in some cloud cloud provider, and this way pay a monthly fee for a private social network.

It'd be awesome to see someone contribute back some automatic flow which gets you up and running in 5 minutes, instead of having to figure out how to run these in AWS yourself, for example. Could be a fun project though.

Couldn't you self-host something that checks all those boxes for far less than a few hundred a year?

I'm building exactly this! It's a very early product, but please try out Thread - https://get.thread-app.com

I know it's probably one of the most difficult features to add -- especially for group messaging, but e2ee is a feature that will get you an instant user-base, who will then help network in more users. Just don't make it the main selling point (like Signal).

I'm probably doing to do this by hosting a private Mastodon instance in our basement. We already have a private Matrix instance for all of our family chats.

Like this? https://spokt.com/

I think Glassboard used to be something like this, but it never took off.

RIP Path.

My extended family uses this: https://spokt.com/

There was some talk years ago about switching to Facebook but I and a few others refused to participate on that platform and we wound up staying on Spokt.

The service is ok, nothing special, but it does serve the purpose of ongoing communication away from the spying and trash and noise and dark patterns of Facebook without having to set something custom up.

Facebook's greatest threat is from Nextdoor, and I can't wait until it happens.

They really got me with that fake from-neighbor fake-printed-on-gridpaper letter, only realized it was fake after registering...

>From my understanding, this is a social news site with fact checking.

That makes sense, I don't think a social network and privacy advocating (WikiPedia donating, HN type) go hand in hand. I like the premise of WT.Social.

Facebook is where it is because it cracked 'real identity' when others were encouraging dog/cat names for profiles.

> when others were encouraging dog/cat names for profiles.

My dog had a facebook profile, so the Zuck doesn't allow it anymore? Keep in mind that was a very social dog.

Apparently yes, as per FB profile rules only yourself can create a FB profile but your dog can have FB page though.

My experience is that if you don't participate in social media, people call / message you personally, or meet in person. I don't think communicating with family or friends by broadcasting into an abyss and fighting for their attention is an improvement on one-to-one dialogue.

Be the unreasonable minority that you wish to see in the world. https://nassimtaleb.org/2016/08/intolerant-wins-dictatorship...

> I use Facebook to post pictures of my vacations for my family

I use Facebook as a perpetually correct address book. People change address, phone number and sometimes email, but never their Facebook account. That single property of Facebook (which is something my generation attributed to Facebook, instead of it being directly coded as a feature) is why I could basically never leave.

I've tried to get my family off of Whatsapp, and utterly failed there. I strongly doubt my entire social circle would ever spontaneously move to something better than Facebook.

Are there any popular main-stream non-facebook or non-google owned chat properties? I've been looking for a family friendly alternative.

Telegram comes to mind.


Hmm, I guess that I should poison my Facebook account with false information?

Facebook somewhat like linkedin is also used for socially acceptable bragging and puffery. So for example it's ok to post things that others would be jealous of (or think you are bragging) if done another way. That is definitely some of the appeal of those platforms.

And the best part is nobody even knows if the people reading are turned off or think you are bragging that never gets echoed back in any way.

People are so quick to label new apps/sites as Facebook/Instagram/Twitter rivals, but in really they are not. As you mentioned, just because you can friend someone, it's not a Facebook rival, or else, Imgur would be a Instagram rival because you can post pics...

I get the impression that for many people their main experience of Facebook is as a source of media with mixed social and commercial promotion. In this regard, Wales' social network is a rival.

Is that headline damning with faint praise? Mere "thousands" doesn't seem like enough to get critical mass on a social network. For comparison Google+ had something on the order of 300 million users and failed to get traction.

Google+ only had that many users because many other Google properties (YouTube being the biggest) were lumped in together. I bet the majority of Google+ "users" weren't even aware that the platform existed.

Right, it would grab you by YT and wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. Effectively it was also world's largest deanonymization effort. Must have been some hefty internal incentives program at Google, they tried as if their bonus depended on it.

I remember fighting it and failing, I was like what! I said no a dozen different ways and here is my full name.

Yeah. If you had a google account was more or less impossible not to be on Google+. The thing is that engagement was pathetically low. We used to joke that the best password manager would be to post all your secrets in a google+ posting, because nobody would ever see your post.

But that right there is why as a fairly strict free market type, I see the need for government intervention in some tech antitrust situations.

If Google+ failed with google immediately signing anyone with a gmail account up for it and pushing it fairly hard with all their channels - how extremely unlikely is it for someone to organically take Facebook’s market share away?

Oh no problem, you’ll only need someone with more resources than Google!

Google plus didn’t do anything significantly better than Facebook

everyone I knew had a Google+ account and none of them knew it.

Maybe not mainly YT: Google forced people to create one account there even for rating Android apps, so I suppose a lot of random Android users were counted too.

How many users do you think HN has? No matter how many, I think I would call HN mostly a success (currently/temporary?). Seems that to have a good social network, it's less about quantity of content and more about quality. Most of Twitter is shit, but it contains some average content too, and a small amount of gold nuggets. HN feels to have much better signal/noise ratio and judging by myself and others who hang around here, it's way better here than what other "critical mass" social networks have.

I don’t think it makes sense to compare HN to other social networks. It wasn’t started as a business that would need to turn a profit, it was started as a side project by a rich guy (Paul Graham) who wanted to see what smart people thought about things.

If HN fails to ever hit 1M users, PG (or Sam Altman) isn’t going to shut it down or cut off its funding, and neither he nor Y Combinator are expecting or relying on it to generate revenue. It continues to exist after over a decade because the Y Combinator folks find the content and discussion interesting.

And hey, that’s all well and good. I’m glad that HN sticks around when a more profit-driven site would’ve failed years ago. But it’s important to note that what works for HN likely wouldn’t work for anyone else.

I agree that HN is not like most social networks, but it also bears resemblance with many other social networks. Largely the ones that are not founded for the reason of profits.

> But it’s important to note that what works for HN likely wouldn’t work for anyone else.

It's also important to note that what does work for HN, might work for others too. We won't know unless we try. Strict moderation is something that helped HN, helped make Flashback (Swedish Forum) tolerable and something many of the greatest subreddits applied with great success. Just an example.

HN is a marketing channel for startups who might want to pitch ycombinator, then market the startups they pick, then find employees for those startups, then repeat.

The value isn't in selling ads.

I see this whole line of reasoning that thousands of people isn't enough to be newsworthy a symptom of valleythink where all that is valued is growth.

There are other factors that indicate success and the community for the most part has lost sight of those for the tunnel vision of "must get funding!"

Profit is not quite the point. The point is that in order for HN to be a useful site, so that person n+1 decides to join, all they need is that the first n people have something interesting to say. For a Facebook competitor to be useful to person n+1, the first n people have to include a lot of their existing friends and family. Network effects.

> The platform says it will never sell user data and relies on "the generosity of individual donors" rather than ads.

Sounds like this isn't envisioned as a profit-making business, either. I'd happily donate some money to have a place my friends and family can easily hang out online that isn't trying to sell us to anything.

Is HS a social network? I think of it more like a forum. On HN I don't really care exactly who I interact with. It's just as good to me without my family and friends being users (better, in fact :). Real social networks aren't like that.

"Real social networks"? There is nothing in "social network" that requires the relationship to be equal in real-life or that you even know the identity of the person you're writing with. Most would consider Twitter social media, and most people I know constantly interact and discuss with people they don't really care who they are and that's not what's important anyways.

I would say in general, places where you interact with other people ends up building some sort of social network of it's insides.

Yes I think it is a social network. They come in many shapes and forms. I think a forum is a social network too.

HN doesn't even have direct messages, though.

I don’t even use the direct message feature at all in Reddit, but I still feel like interacting with people when I write comments though.

I think the key difference is HN doesn't need to make money

Sure, we all choose our incentives. Facebook chose to follow money.

Anecdotally, Google+ failed for me because I got stuck in an authentication loop for a business page. It wanted to verify the business, but the link to do so always errored out, which made it impossible to ever change the page content beyond what I initially put in. I stopped using both sides of it at that point, and it wouldn’t surprise me if others ran into similar rough edges. In true Google style, there was absolutely no route to support either.

google+ did not fail for me. and many others i know. i enjoyed being part of communities around specific topics.

spamming was the only problem i saw. and i just couldn't comprehend that the same company that defeated spams in email couldn't do the same on their social network.

someone made a comment earlier about twitter killed vine and now tiktok is being a better vine. maybe someday we will see a social network where the emphasis is on communities and not the self. that's what google+ did better than anything that was out there.

>maybe someday we will see a social network where the emphasis is on communities and not the self. that's what google+ did better than anything that was out there.

That seems to be filled by irc channels (less now), subreddits and more recently discords.

it failed for me because the UI was slow as molasses and the circles functionality, while cool, was not clear in the sense that it was not clear who could see what when "posting to circles"

Ran into a similar issue.

From my experience on Scuttlebutt and other decentralized/alternative social medias, thousands will try something out just to kick the tires; it's staying, contributing and utilizing the tool for things it wasn't intended for that really matters.

And convincing people to use a service named “scuttle butt”.

annecdotally, my attention isn't usually held for long by people who are unwilling to engage with a service because of it's weird name...


And that’s fine for you. But it’s not fine for the service.

Technically anyone can use the dating service Christian Mingle. But you might not find a lot of atheists or Jewish people on there, simply because of the name and the implication of the people who would use a service with that name.

It's not a "service." They owe you nothing, and they don't need you to use it for them to keep using it. Especially given you aren't the target audience, all that really happens is you become a waste of bandwidth for anyone hosting a public peer.

Oh. Name bikeshedding again. Funny, people had the same criticisms about Twitter, yet it doesn't seem to be a problem now. And what the hell is a Google? (No, not a googol, which is the correct spelling.)

That being said, the protocol is called scuttlebutt (which means gossip, or water cooler) and all the clients have more palatable names like Manyverse, Patchwork, Patchfoo, etc.

Fortunately, the protocol name is almost a filtering function that removes anyone so immature as to be put off by the name. The rest embrace the name, who doesn't like a good butt?

I probably wouldn’t use it anyway because the way the name is defended online makes it likely that I wouldn’t enjoy the company of the service’s user base.

A word for chatting is somehow unsuitable as a name because you have to say the horrible 4-letter word "butt"?

An archaic word that was only chosen because it includes the word “butt”?

I wouldn't extrapolate the the level of immaturity it takes to make that connection to whoever named the service. The last time I giggled at hearing the word butt as part of a larger word or phrase was probably the second grade (cigarette butts, pork butt, etc)

Given the history of SSB, it seems quite unlikely that's the case. Originally developed by and for someone living on a boat, they used a nautical term to name the project.

Just watched the video about scuttlebutt.

To confirm: a copy of my messages and images is permanently stored in my friend´s and my friend´s of friend´s diaries (up until the point where they delete them, I presume)

Even Facebook had the Games platform to create gravity and staying power... but only for a few years until FB turned off the spigot of free viral News Feed spam to friends of the game player.

There are dozens of us! Dozens!

No, no, it's already over 9000!

That's because Google tried to be the network for everyone. There are a lot of people.. several billion, and if that's your market, then 300m doesn't cut it. (They also forced it onto everyone.. there was little community there.)

On the other hand, being the social network for a smaller audience is very do-able. Even Facebook started locally at Zuckerbergs college, then expanded to other colleges, before eventually opening up. Being the social network for a single school only requires a few thousand people.. then you're the social network everyone (in that school) wants to be on to discuss events relevant to the school... and you've created your foothold.

Google was never interested in a creating a foothold in a small niche. They said "We're google.. basic marketing rules don't apply" and they learned they were wrong.

Somehow I doubt they learned the lesson it should have taught them.

But G+ users didn’t choose it (by and large) it just happened TO them.

In this case at least the users had agency and actually signed up.

Still a small number in the grand scheme, but G+ was a bit of a different beast due to how Google launched it.

>Mere "thousands" doesn't seem like enough to get critical mass on a social network.

It's kind of like running for president of the United States and bragging that you got "hundreds" of votes.

I don't think the purpose here is to be the proverbial president of the US but to simply have a community of people who are willing to chip some money in and who want healthier discourse.

If you're going to blow up to the size of facebook you're just going to suffer from the very same problems. More diversity and more competition and more alternatives is what this is supposed to be part of. I think the point here is to build an ecosystem of saner social networks, not the next Franken-network.

But will it suffer from the problem of monetizing user data? That seems to be the big thing it's designed to avoid.

After a brief recitation of facts it ends on a critical note, on par with the title:

> Social media consultant Zoe Cairns said she thought the network would have to grow its numbers quickly in order to prove itself to be a viable alternative to the giants.

> "It's going to need a lot of money ploughed into it," she said.

> "People are so used to social media being free. I think businesses might pay for it, but people are so used to having news at their fingertips for free."

> doesn't seem like enough to get critical mass on a social network.

I'm not sure it matters for this social network. It's positioning as a news-based platform doesn't require people you know personally to use the site in order for it to have value.

Perhaps conversely, too many people on a social network may be detrimental to these aims, as ever more narrow-minded echo chambers or factions can achieve critical mass.

Mere thousands are nowhere enough, but even Facebook also should have a very small number of high revenue customers. As long as this new network can draw a good enough amount of those users, they will be fine and will also impact Facebook's bottom line.

The size of the network didn’t doom Google+. It was the product management

And Facebook had something like a college dorm, and did get traction.

That faint praise will transform into real praise once millions of BBC readers feel compelled to join those thousands already in Wikipedia's version of facebook.

Just what I've always wanted. A social network where others can edit my posts, competing reversion bots, and all power concentrated in a few super-users with nothing else to do with their time.

What a compelling experience...

I don’t feel compelled.

Google+ users only had to make a gmail account to be signed up for Google+, the amount of people actually actively using Google+ was far lower than 300 million.

I just signed up, which it seems hasn't actually granted me access, even though the initial page it took me to did look like I had access? I don't really get it.

I think something people maybe aren't taking into account is that this doesn't need to be a "Facebook killer". People with Facebook also use any number of social media sites. It could just as easily be something like a Reddit substitute since it seems to be somewhat "groups" oriented.

Also, from what I can see, it isn't pay-to-play like some people have suggested. Rather, it seems to be exactly what I've seen multiple people advocate for: Pay for preferential service.

I'll keep an eye on it at least. Why not.

The pricing to me seems horribly expensive especially as they are fighting a competitor that is ‘free’ and has way better network effects?

I think there’s an uptick at the moment of paid online services. We’re getting four models:

1. Free commercial services supported by advertising.

2. Ad-free commercial services supported by subscriptions.

3. Open-source distributed services.

Arguably there’s a fourth category: free, ad-free commercial services supported by VC money to grow until reaches critical mass and pivots into a paid/advertising model.

The second option caters to a smaller crowd who are willing to pay for a better experience, but a “smaller crowd” defies conventional wisdom about social network effects. It’s an interesting experiment though. There are now dozens of news aggregators, streaming media services, gaming platforms, etc., competing for our monthly disposable income, so it may be a tough sell.

The NYT covered the shift towards subscription services recently: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/13/magazine/inte...

I'd like a non-evil social network, but there is already too many "only £10 a month" for the sake of arranging my pixels in amusing ways.

If it was a traditional company I'd agree, but it's a not-for-profit that also runs Wikipedia so I see it as a donation toward that. WT.social is just a perk.

Yeah, way to expensive. A "pay-what-you-want" model with a minium of 2$-4$ a month would be much more successfull, I feel.

Not to dive into semantics, I guess it's more of a Reddit rival? Meaning that I would be happy if it can be a fairly good news aggregator, and it doesn't need a huge critical mass.

Facebook is for baby pictures of friends, angry old relatives and instant messenger for people that you want to keep at a certain distance :-)

Reddit certainly rivals Facebook for my attention.

Reddit with Wikipedia-style moderation does not appeal to me.

Obligatory plug for https://ieddit.com/ - there is quite a bit of ideological overlap in terms of what is trying to be achieved and why.

Well can't say I'm not curious, but €90 a year is a lot of money.

To pay that for just another service for procrastination? Maybe I'll pass. Although I definitely support the idea.

it's the old saying: "if you're not paying for using a product or you're not being paid to use a product, that means that you're the product".

Deciding to pass on a service that asks you money to offer you a service is completely fine, as long as you don't later complain about "privacy issues" and "massive surveillance".

Most Mastodon instances cover bills with a handful of supporters on Patreon. Centralizing is what racks up the big dollar figures. Even mastodon.social only cost about $280/month to run as of mid 2018.


It's not necessary for everyone to pay if the topology is right. They could have joined the growing ActivityPub fediverse and set up a managed hosting thing the way one of the major Mastodon contributors did.

The centralized sites spend much of their money on marketing and making ad deals. You don't need that if the social network is a standard feature you bolt your software on to and don't depend on ads.

Well, in fairness, you're not gonna be free from mass surveillance by signing up for WT social. You might not need to worry about people selling your data, provided none of your connections adds a privacy destroying app in the future?

But yeah, everyone will still be subject to the government showing up and going through your data if they deem it necessary. I'm not sure that can be helped? If there's an ironclad way to do that, I haven't seen it done.

You can have advertising without "privacy issues" and "massive surveillance". I would say that google does a much better job of it than Facebook.

Another option would be to have voluntary donations, like wikipedia.

I'm not going to pay $10/month for a curated new feed which I can do myself for free, and probably do a better job of it.

> that means that you're the product

paying in kind is still a valid form of payment

But I'd like to sample or at least see the bloody service before I pay for it. Right now I'm hitting a paywall telling me I'm x0.000 in line and "Oh, we want your money". I'm not triggered to commit.

Also, on the surface, it looks like a replacement for reddit/HN than a fb replacement. Am I missing something?

Procrastinating is a weird word to use?

While I like the idea, there are other, better "alternative" social media platforms out there. Mastodon[1] being a good example (even if it's more a Twitter than a Facebook): open, federated, free (as in beer and freedom).

[1] https://joinmastodon.org/

I’ve learned to live a happy life without social media (mostly), I’d never go back to anything that resembled Facebook. I moved on and I’m happy for it.

I enjoy some Instagram and Snap, that’s it. I’m bored with them too though.

Two of the largest social networks is not "a life without social media".

Fair point.

I guess what I was trying to say is that they're different formats and they encourage different types of engagement.

What I meant is, I don't miss the type of experience that Facebook provided at all.

Instagram feels more like entertainment and the engagement seems more "trivial" to me. I can passively consume or participate in if I have nothing better to do, else I don't miss it.

Facebook started to turn into a boring chore for me.

Yes, but the problem with FB that Wales is trying to solve is the incentive structure created by advertising and the associated data privacy issues.

Usage of IG leaves that dynamic essentially intact.

Yup, I don't really have an issue with the advertisement model as is with IG because it's been a fantastic incentive for me not to look at it :)

However, Wales' mission is noble and I hope he does well!

The insights they glean from your IG activity is then translated into the ads that you see all over the web - not just restricted to the ones on IG.

Almost everyone young has switched from FB to IG. I don't think you can claim that is a life "without social media."

What a horrible name. How do I even pronounce it? "Double-u-tee social"? Doesn't quite roll off the tongue, especially for non-native English speakers.

A bit tangent, but as a non-native English speaker, I always get frustrated that single W is pronounced "double you" and single Y is "why". In my non-native English tongue I would pronounced the name as something like "Weh-Teh Social"

"Wet Social" sounds like something very different.

I kinda thought it might be a play on WTF, so, "what the social".

"WikiTribune Social" or "W.T. Social."

They realise that it's a terrible name though, right?

WikiSocial might've done, I guess that's taken. But this is too long, unless it's supposed to be pronounced "woot-social"?

WT call Home

White Trash Social. Although that wouldnt be politically correct.

It's pronounced "The wikipedia guy social network" :)

dubtee social

I signed up, was waitlisted (number 180-thousand something on the list), sent out a couple of invites to friends with the url it generates, as soon as one of them accepted, it gave me access. So I guess if you don't want to pay the $13/month, you can avoid it by getting a friend to join.

I didn’t even share it, just loaded my own share link and it let me in

Why spam a friend for this? Just grab the URL and create another dummy account.

Social media sites are data-vampires, not entities deserving any kind of respect.

The name is unfortunate and I wish they would spend more time on thinking about a proper name. It has to work in spoken conversation such as "are you on Facebook?", "I am using Whatsapp". "We can connect on WT:Social", not so much. Is it supposed to be pronounced "double you tee social"?

> The platform says it will never sell user data and relies on "the generosity of individual donors" rather than ads.

Yay, so yearly half-site banners at the top of the page asking for an individual contribution while sitting on a multi-million dollar stack of money? Nice. Facebook is done! \s

It does not need to beat facebook at its own game. Merely establish a digital public space that has its own culture, and in time, that culture spreads out into the world, whether the world joins the site itself or not. Hackernews is an example of such a place too.

> It is positioning itself as a "news focused" place, and says members will be able to edit "misleading" headlines.

Upcoming "Battle of Edits"?

And why edit only "headlines", and "misleading" compared to what?

> The platform says it will never sell user data and relies on "the generosity of individual donors" rather than ads

I'd prefer "The platform says it will never sell user data and relies on paying customers rather than ads"

I dont want to see 3rd party stuff my friends share. I want to see my friends content.

Nov 15th: 80,000 users

Nov 17th: 160,000 users

Nov 18th: 200,000 users


I tried it. Despite it trying not to spread "misinformation" it really isn't that much better. And I'm getting barraged by "friend requests" from Russian Women just like any other social network.

What would be nice is if people paid for Journalism again. They major newspapers and news magazines should figure out how to have a common payment system that lets you subscribe in one place to nearly everything, with a consistent interface between them.

Someone sent one as soon as I got in and there's no way to reject. Now there's a big "pending requests" box on every page and an easy to misclick Accept button.

I made an account and am on a waiting list. It wants me to invite people to bump myself up in the queue. Or pay.

The site looks very 2000s PHP CMS. I'm not sure what it is. I searched for a topic I'm interested in, something came up, and I clicked...and it bumped me back to the main page where it shows my place in the list.

Why would I invite people or pay money for something if I have no idea what I'm getting?

I have been using WT.social yesterday and today and I generally like it. I just read a linked article about a meeting on a train, quite good. My user name is mark-watson2

I used GNU Social for a long while but when the host of my instance shut it down I didn’t create an account on another server instance. I liked the decentralized nature of GNU Social, but I think WT.social has more chance of getting traction.

I'm curious if people are sick of Facebook or sick of social media in general. My only Facebook friends are people I'm actually friends with, and I mute the more obnoxious members of my family. Because of this my FB experience seemed to be a lot nicer than what most people experience, but in the end it just felt like a waste of time.

Does this mean 160,000 registered? Or 160,000 entered their cc info and are paying? Way different metrics, obviously.

This reminds me of "There are dozens of us... DOZENS"[1]. While I am happy that people are diversifying their social network choice, 160k is a rounding error to Facebook.

[1] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKie-vgUGdI

I see there is a bar telling the service is under heavy load. You can join using this link: https://wt.social/gi/tomasz-smykowski/work/buwn

I have created some groups for software developers

Unpopular Opinion: the core problem with facebook or any social network is the people inhabiting it. I dont think simply offering an alternative with X removed and Y enhanced will solve the problem. Its like the old saying "no matter where you go, there you are..."

I'm really happy to see a social network that makes costs clear and allow me to pay for its services in exchange for not having my data sold.

It probably won't grow to hundreds of millions of users but that's fine. Closer connections with people that care are much more interesting.


selects are best

I worry that it doesn't take long at all to question the accuracy of information on any platform. And given that this platforms value proposition is accurate information, that proposition can be easily tarnished or diminished.

Just signed up, I hope this really takes off. I think the design needs a proper face lift, then again the first version of FB wasnt a really eye candy either.

I hope in future they implement messaging system and events.

I'm still considering signing up. I would do it in a heartbeat if, with my subscription, I could "gift" a subscription to a couple people of my choosing

This is so far from being a rival, I won't even comment further!

Will they also offer an alternative to Facebook login? Because it’s not just the social network itself that’s all-pervasive on the internet, and locks you into its network.

They need to provide tribute-hailing buttons on other websites otherwise it won't become pervasive enough.

“Flock to” might be a bit much. I’ve registered there in case it takes off, but I’ve not used it even half as much as a social network might want

It doesn't sound like this actually federates with anything else. So how is this not just another pointless silo?

> It doesn't sound like this actually federates with anything else.

I think it's for the people who consider that a feature.

Jimmy Wales or Mark Zuckerman... this is not exactly a situation where's one clearly more trust worthy than the other.

Aside from the fact that wales' software is supposed to be free and open source and thus will not require its users to trust the founder as much as they are forced to with fb, how is Wales not more trustworthy than Zuck? One guy has a string of abuses and apologies spanning almost two decades as the founder, CEO and majority shareholder of a company that helped the Russian gov't steal the 2016 election and helped bring back eradicated diseases, and the other created a non-profit encyclopedia and gave away the source code?

Not only that, but he managed to navigate his army of editors to weed out fake/pseudo scientific entries. He's the fake news anti-hero.

Do they fact check the hair loss ads or only the news? Can I get in line earlier for not being from California?

I 'm not sure this is the kind of project that JW should be spending his social creds/capital on.

Now if only someone would periodically copy all interesting events from Facebook to that platform ...

Two days after that article it's 275K. Needs work, but the basics are there. Fly!

I signed up but the cost is way too high so I won't be using it... like 10 times too high?

can i just say that the "news" on the wikipedia homepage should be renamed "disasters and deaths". what is with their weird bent for what makes it to the homepage?

that you have to pay is a misconception, you don't.

I just still don't quite grasp the concept. Ad-free (cool for privacy) and everybody can edit everything?

Do they talk about why we need to log-in?

How does this relate to wikinews?

Haven’t heard a single thing about this social network aside from the name associated with it.

I signed up but thats it.

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