The How To’s On Dealing with Emerging Social Platforms
Recently there has been a surge in new social platforms that focus on protecting consumers’ data from being sold; the promise of a platform that is solely for the consumers with no ads, no spyware. Parler and MeWe are two examples of newer social platforms with such a focus. But with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter already on many brand’s rosters, there is already a lot going on, and with emerging platforms come the never-ending question, do we need to be there? Today, I will take you through some steps you should consider when making this decision, as well as give you background information on these two newer platforms.
What is Parler?
Parler was founded back in 2018 by John Matze, Jared Thomson, and Rebekah Mercer. They identify their platform as an “unbiased social media” platform, focused on free speech after coming across platforms that felt like they were censoring their users. During the election coverage, we have seen a lot of posts being flagged by the social platforms to stop the spread of misinformation. But Parler claims they only have two rules users must follow: you cannot post anything criminal, and you cannot spam on the platform. Other than that, Parler promises its users they can post whatever they desire without having a fear of being “de-platformed”.
Parler also heavily emphasizes itself to be a platform that holds a “higher ethical standard”. Their website notes that Parler “believes that people are entitled to security, privacy, and freedom of expression. All personal data is kept confidential, and never sold to third parties. Our concise Community Guidelines are based on fair and just legal precedent and are enforced by a Community Jury” (parler.com). Another unique note for the platform is their verification process, where they encourage users to get verified to keep out bots and encourage civil discourse.
The social platform has seen some criticism, however, such as their more than 1,500 strict community guidelines, “going far beyond legal requirements”. Some of the clauses seem to conflict with their mission statement, as one of the clauses allows Parler to censor users, and even ban them from the platform, something they claim to be against. The platform has become known as a “Conservative Facebook” and has seen quite a bit of controversy.
What is MeWe?
The other social platform I want to point out is MeWe, which we could say is Parler’s current competitor. MeWe makes a bold statement to its users on their home page by noting “your private life is #Not4Sale. No Ads. No Spyware. No BS.” It also bills itself as a “next-gen social network”, promising an ad-free experience for users.
Both platforms have seemingly seen an influx of new users recently. MeWe itself has created several unofficial accounts for businesses such as The New York Times, HuffPost, NFL, and even President Trump, utilizing their Twitter content to flood their feeds. In terms of usage, MeWe has a remarkably similar user interface to Facebook; it allows users to like posts, gives them hearts and smiley faces, while also being able to share posts and create group pages. This is because founder Mark Weinstein created MeWe as an alternative to Facebook, with the clear message of no ads and privacy for its users.
Now that we know more about these platforms you are probably asking yourself, is this a trend that will die down? Should I focus some of my time on these platforms? Before making these decisions it’s important to:
- Look at Your Audience
- Look at Your Goals and
- Know Why You Are on the Platforms You Are Already On
Social media platforms come and go, some of them are around for the long run, and some fade away quickly. When new social media platforms emerge it’s important to remember to not have to feel like you need to be on every single platform. If it doesn’t align with your goals, if it doesn’t allow you to connect with your audience, or if your audience isn’t on these platforms, then there is no need to add yet another thing to worry about.
Your audience is of course the biggest reason to merge into these new platforms, so it’s always important to do your research and see if your users are flocking to these new sites or if you should just stay put. Knowing your goals and how they may or may not align with these platforms will also help make this decision easier.
Finally, knowing why you go on Facebook or go on Instagram will help you decided if you should also be on the likes or Parler or MeWe. Is your audience on these platforms? Can you create meaningful and engaging content for your users via these platforms? Answering all these questions will help keep you a bit more level-headed and less overwhelmed.
It’s better to have quality content and relationships on a handful of platforms that work best for you and your audience. Don’t be everywhere without having engaging content or a connection with your audience.
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