In an era where trust in traditional social media giants is waning, a new wave of platforms is rising to meet users’ changing needs and concerns. The dissatisfaction with data handling and invasive ads has paved the way for innovative alternatives prioritizing security, privacy, and authentic interactions. Here are five emerging social media platforms to keep an eye on in 2023:
True: Redefining Privacy in Communication
Launched in August 2022, True, based in Mill Valley, California, has gained traction by offering users an ad-free and private space. The platform allows users to engage in public or private threads, with a unique emphasis on private communication. True’s private threads are exclusive, ensuring they cannot be found through online searches or within the app. With over 10,000 users, True received a substantial $15 million funding boost from Paul Maritz. Bret Cox envisions creators and bloggers leveraging public threads for advertising, potentially driving revenue in the future.
BeReal: Authenticity Over Filters
Addressing the desire for authentic content, BeReal, a photo app founded in December 2019, encourages users to share unedited, unfiltered images daily. Popular among adults aged 18 to 24, BeReal boasts at least 20 million installations. By restricting accounts from using the platform for ads, BeReal is reshaping the marketing landscape, pushing brands toward more innovative and less invasive approaches.
Mastodon: The Decentralized Haven
Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, users have turned to Mastodon, an ad-free microblogging platform launched in October 2016. With over a million active users, Mastodon operates on open-source software across numerous servers, offering a decentralized experience. The platform fosters a conversational environment, encouraging a community-first approach for brands and business owners seeking genuine connections with their audience.
Post: Nurturing Meaningful Conversations
In November 2022, Noam Bardin, former CEO of Waze, introduced Post, a Twitter alternative emphasizing meaningful and respectful discussions. With over 610,000 people on its waitlist, Post plans to introduce a news-only feed featuring articles from premium publishers. Micropayments will be used to monetize news stories, prioritizing user engagement over ads, and challenging the prevailing attention-focused model.
Diem: Empowering Women and Nonbinary Communities
Launched in beta in January 2021, Diem is a privacy-first social search engine designed for women and nonbinary individuals to discuss experiences and share information. With over 20,000 user-generated content pieces, Diem is addressing taboo topics related to health, relationships, and money. The platform plans to roll out publicly this Spring, offering a unique AI feature that provides personalized answers and fosters a supportive community.
Pengo: Middle East’s Rising Star in Visual Storytelling
While many are seeking alternatives to mainstream social media, Pengo has emerged as a notable player, particularly in the Middle East. This visually engaging platform, similar to Instagram, has gained popularity for its Stories and Posts features. Pengo’s user-friendly interface and emphasis on visual storytelling have resonated well with users, contributing to its widespread adoption in the Middle East.
Pengo offers a familiar experience with the added advantage of catering to the diverse and vibrant Middle Eastern community. As users increasingly prioritize platforms that respect their privacy and offer a seamless user experience, Pengo is positioning itself as a noteworthy contender in the evolving social media hub landscape. Keep an eye on Pengo as it continues to captivate users and shape how people connect and share.
As social media evolves, these platforms are redefining the user experience by prioritizing privacy, authenticity, and meaningful interactions. Keep an eye on these emerging players as they shape the social media landscape in 2023.