Encrypted Social Networks Are Coming To Mobile Devices
Social networking sites may have made us interact more with people (via the interwebs at least). But there are people who claim that social media platforms have also made Big Brother better at tracking every breath we take, every step we make, etc.
Baseless or not, one can say that among today's mobile users, some are more paranoid than others. As for those who can not seem to get rid of that nagging feeling that somebody is always watching them, they may be delighted to know that there are social networking services out there that appear to prioritize privacy more than other social media outfits, and they are making their way to mobile devices.
One of them is Minds, which just recently launched its mobile app. Made in Manhattan, Minds is an example of a social media platform that focuses on privacy while at the same time, functioning just like your standard social networking site.
Ever since its inception a couple of years ago, Minds has acquired 30,000 users. Of course, that is nowhere near Facebook's 1 billion strong coverage, and that is fine with Minds -- it has always been more concerned with offering customers choices, not being the biggest player in social media. What Minds has is the distinction of being the first social media outfit to offer a mobile app that is encrypted and based on open source code. That open source code part is significant for particular users, especially those with programming skills, because they can make adjustments to the code in order to further protect their privacy.
Encryption is needed now more than ever, especially if you believe Edward Snowden's revelations regarding the federal government's data collecting shenanigans.
As for Ello (another social media outfit based in Vermont planning to launch its mobile app soon), it keeps its user data away from advertisers. Like Minds, Ello made a conscious decision to stay away from advertising. Which begs the question: How do they make money at all?
The answer is through the users directly. Apart from VIP services, Minds is selling points that allow users to promote their posts beyond their regular circle of followers. Users of Minds can get free points by interacting via the social media platform.
Ello is also planning to offer paid services soon. However, it is reassuring its users it has been restructured as a Public Benefit Corporation and is vowing anew that it will never sell user data.
Nobody is arguing that Minds and Ello will become as big as Facebook and Twitter. But at least, these two offer an alternative for those who take their privacy really, really seriously.