Facebook’s big Cambridge Analytica privacy controversy has rocked the popular social network and sparked a #DumpFacebook movement of people and companies that are deleting their accounts. You may be tempted to join them, but you are concerned about leaving a social void in your life.
But Facebook isn’t the only game in town. There are rival social networks and advanced messaging apps that can keep you connected so you don’t miss out on your friends’ lives or on sharing your own adventures.
Giving up Facebook doesn’t have to mean giving up staying in touch. Check out these six apps that give you an alternative way to keep up with friends, family, and coworkers.
Snapchat may have a reputation of being for youngsters, but it’s actually a versatile app that can work for any age group if your friends are on board. Snapchat focuses on sharing short video clips or pictures. You can also create “Stories” with multiple photos and videos on your own or together with friends.
Path has a simple motto: “Beautiful, private sharing.” One of its big selling points, especially in the wake of the Facebook mess, is the network’s easy-to-use privacy controls. The service is set up around sharing moments, much like you would do with a Facebook post. You can also post private moments that are only viewable to you or a select group of friends.
Google thought it had an answer to Facebook back in 2011 when it launched Google Plus (Google+). It never built up the sheer number of users as Facebook, but it’s still going strong and is happy to welcome users fleeing from Facebook. You can easily use it on your regular computer, but you can also get the well-regarded app version for both iOS and Android. Compared to Facebook, it has a cleaner, less-cluttered appearance that should appeal to people looking for something different.
If you love video messages, then Marco Polo is a fun way to stay connected with friends and family. The app revolves around recording and sharing short videos back and forth. It calls itself a “video walkie-talkie.” You can have one-on-one conversations or send out messages to a group of people. It’s a lot more personal and entertaining than a regular text message.
Microsoft’s GroupMe group messaging app can fill the Facebook void by letting you communicate with specific groups of people. You can set up groups for family, friends, coworkers, or any other set of folks you want to talk with regularly. You can share images and videos and find them again later in the app’s gallery. Direct messaging lets you also talk one-on-one when you like.
At its heart, Google’s Allo app is for messaging, but it’s also much more than that. The chat app works across Android and iOS. Visually, it pulls together oversized emoji, stickers, doodles, and other fun animations with the usual text messages. It also suggests text and emojis for quick responses and learns about your personal communication style as you use it.
Allo integrates Google Assistant so you can get suggestions for eating out, map directions, or answers to search queries within your conversations. If you have concerns about privacy, then check into Allo’s Incognito mode for encrypted conversations.
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Find out what Facebook knows about you
Facebook has a file of your history with the service, but you can find out what’s in it.