We were on a call today discussing the changing landscape in social media and web media in general. Suffice it to say, it was a pretty interesting discussion. If you're not aware, the major social media networks have been criticized in recent months for censorship of conservative voices. Other web media giants, like Google, have also been accused of similar practices in content prioritization recently. The basic assertion by those affected is that the politics of the these web media giants is trumping free speech, free expression and free dialog.
While concerns over censorship began with the far right, mainstream conservatives have also expressed frustration and dissatisfaction with the policies and practices of the major web media companies as of late. Surprisingly, even voices on the left, like Bruce A. Dixon, are starting to express concern that specific political narratives are driving what people see in their Facebook / Twitter feeds and Google / Bing / YouTube search results.
As a result of the growing backlash, a number of promising social media startups have cropped up recently. They aren't necessarily catering to conservatives. Rather, they're building platforms that are firmly rooted on 1st Amendment principles. It seems the free market also favors our basic freedoms. They're starting to get attention in from venture capital world too.
Gab, a direct competitor to Twitter, launched in August of 2016. It recently raised nearly $500,000 through the crowdfunding platform StartEngine. Reports suggest that Gab's membership base is ramping up fast. Consequently, VC's are starting to look for other promising startups in the in the web media arena.
In late August of this year, a new social media platform called InfinitySN will launch. Their business model is designed to attack Facebook with a vengeance. As one InfinitySN insider stated today, their aim is "to turn Facebook into the modern day MySpace" by 2020. One of their founders had an interesting (and historically accurate) perspective on their chances of success. To paraphrase, "It doesn't necessarily pay to be first to market. Others learn from your mistakes, build a better product, and push you out of the category."
Athough there has been a little buzz on social media discussing InfinitySN and what their promising to deliver, it appears the startup is waiting until launch to hype the product through traditional PR channels. They're currently flying under the radar screen and seem to be banking on the fact that growing dissatisfaction with the social media behemoths by the general public, combined with positive word of mouth, will fuel interest in the platform.
InfinitySN started as a social media platform for the Colorado community. They saw an opportunity to expand their market, retooled and will launch globally August 29th. It'll be interesting to see if InfinitySN will live up to the hype we heard on the call. That said, we left the call scratching our heads and wondering why it's taken so long for a serious competitor to enter this market?
You can read an old press release from InfintySN relating to their Colorado launch here.