by Paul Arnote (parnote)
With Google+ shutting down basically at the end of the month (there are reports that Google plans to start deleting Google+ data on April 1, 2019, even though the service doesn't officially shut down until April 2, 2019), remaining Google+ users are flocking to a new alternative. It's called MeWe.
Here's the MeWe backstory, from their "About" page. They tell it best.
MeWe began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a vision hatched over a dinner between good friends who were early founders of social media. With Facebook all the rage, they felt something critically human was getting lost: the spirit of our democracy and the backbone of our privacy. The big technology companies, you know who they are, had reverted to treating us as commodities. They somehow mistook people signing up to use their services as a welcome invitation to target, track, spy, and sell our information to advertisers and the government. All in all, it felt pretty creepy.
MeWe founder, Mark Weinstein, dreamed of the next generation in online communications, envisioning a social and chat app that would give people everywhere the most exciting and helpful sharing technology with privacy built into the design - where members would feel safe and respected.
Mark relocated to Mountain View, California, in the backyard of technology's established Goliaths, and built a worldwide team of visionary individuals - fun, good people determined to revolutionize social media and build a new platform to go head-to-head with Facebook and restore decency, privacy, and respect for social media users.
Mark created the Sgrouples beta project, hiring an engineering team to design and build the world's first social network with privacy-by-design for its members. The 3-year Sgrouples beta project served as the testing platform for the launch of MeWe.
Making its official launch during SXSW 2016 (South by Southwest), MeWe was honored as the 2016 Start-Up of the Year Finalist for "Innovative World Technology." World-renowned thought leaders proudly serve on MeWe's Advisory Board, including the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
MeWe is the visionary culmination of three years of determined efforts, research, and development to provide people around the world with a communication network they love and trust.
If you're wondering if MeWe is right for you, just take a look at the graphic above from their website. MeWe was built from the ground up to compete head to head with Facebook, and to offer the privacy and security that Facebook only ever scoffed at. On MeWe, you also won't have to worry about your posts being censored because of your political views. It truly is a welcoming destination for everyone.
Still not convinced? Take a look at MeWe's "Privacy Bill of Rights" (above). You're not likely to find anything else quite like it, anywhere. No, I'm not affiliated with MeWe. I've not been "paid" to say anything about them. I'm just happy to find such a welcoming place in a post-Google+ world.
When you visit the MeWe site, you should see something like the screenshot shown above. There, you can sign up for an account. If you already have an account, just click on the "Member Log In" button at the upper right corner.
The above is a screenshot of my own MeWe Home page.
This image is a screenshot of my own MeWe Groups page.
MeWe has been a sort of "in your face" Facebook competitor. In May, 2018, they took out a full page "Dear Facebook" ad in the New York Times. In July, 2018, MeWe CEO Mark Weinstein released a press release, faulting Facebook's business model and calling them out for data mining and selling user data to the highest bidder.
Most recently, cognizant of the flood of Google+ refugees, MeWe has announced a special tool to import Google+ users' data into MeWe. Expected by March 12, 2019 (and maybe earlier), the tool will allow Google+ users to transfer their Google+ circles, data, and content into MeWe. All Google+ users have to do is download their data in JSON format, and then use the tool to upload that content to MeWe.
So, if you're a Google+ user, you have a new, warm home just waiting for you to move in. I already have a presence on MeWe, as does Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine also has its own page on MeWe. Texstar has also joined at MeWe. There is a PCLinuxOS Fan Club group on MeWe.
There's your first five contacts on MeWe. See ya there!