From familiar functionality to altogether new takes on the tried-and-true social network, here are a handful of apps and services to help you phase out Facebook.
Ah, Facebook. Never a dull moment when it comes to political issues, user privacy and, of course, sexy emojis.
Despite the two billion-plus who have joined Facebook over the years, it’s not for everyone. It might no longer be fore you. And that’s okay. If you’re thinking of leaving—but you’re still looking to scratch that social itch—here are some potential landing spots.
1. FOR A LESSER LEARNING CURVE
If you’re looking for a Facebook-like experience without all the Facebook-ish side effects, check out MeWe (web, Android, iOS). Promising no ads, no newsfeed tinkering, and no tracking you or selling your data, MeWe still sports a bunch of the things you’ve grown accustomed to—private and public groups, newsfeeds, pages to follow, chat features, and more—and is available across the globe in 19 languages. The site makes money by selling premium emojis, additional storage above 8GB, and business-focused services.
2. FOR NEWSFEED NUTS
At 2+ million users, Mastodon (web, Android, iOS, others) is an alternative social network heavyweight, relatively speaking. Twitter-like in its focus on feeds and brevity (you’ve got a 500-character limit), this could serve your needs if you’re on Facebook for the rapid-fire updates. You join an interest-based server to get started, at which point you can follow and communicate with people on other servers. Mastodon pitches itself as “a federation—think Star Trek” and lays it all out in a nice, straightforward feed.
3. FOR SELECTIVE SHARING
With a beautiful interface and a focus on three main types of connections, Vero (web, Android, iOS) hopes to make it easy to share the right kinds of content with the right kinds of people. When you create a post, there’s a big focus on whether you want to share it with close friends, friends, or acquaintances—the idea being that you’d share private stuff with your close friends, maybe casual and non-serious stuff with your friends, and then broadcast more business-related or self-promotional stuff with your acquaintances.
4. FOR MANAGEABLE MIGRATION
A relative newcomer, Sociall (web, Android, iOS) is still in an open beta phase but features a tool aimed at migrating your profile photo and posts from Facebook, and lets you optionally invite your friends to jump ship with you. Once you’re in, you can set up your feed based on stuff you’re interested in or opt to view all publicly available posts as they get published. Like the other players mentioned here, Sociall touts privacy, no tracking, and no data collection.
5. FOR FAMILIES FIRST
If you’re using Facebook largely to keep in touch with members of your family—whether immediate or extended—then you’ll find you can replicate much of the functionality with FamilyWall (Web, Android, iOS). There’s an emphasis on keeping everyone organized with shared calendars and to-do lists, but dig a little deeper, and you’ll find some good (and private) photo- and video-sharing features, location tracking technology, chat functionality, and the ability to create private groups for sharing content outside your immediate circle.