These platforms that right now occupy an important place in our lives when it comes to informing ourselves, staying in contact with family and friends despite the distance (kilometers or due to a pandemic), and when we interact with our community or with strangers, present a wide variety of options.
In addition to the empire of Facebook (which includes this network, along with Instagram and WhatsApp), Twitter, or Google platforms, there are alternative social networks that can be very useful.
The 10 social networks you should know
There is life beyond the creations of Zuckerberg, Dorsey, or the Alphabet empire. In fact, Clubhouse arrived at the beginning of this year demonstrating that this is a sector where it is possible to innovate and, in fact, many other social networks launched functions very similar to those that Clubhouse offers to interact with voice covers. We collect a list of various social networks that may be very interesting to you.
Mastodon: Mastodon is a microblogging social network with an aesthetic and functions similar to those of Twitter. It is not controlled by a single company or server but works using a decentralized federation of servers, all of them running their free and open-source that is published at everyone's fingertips on their profile on Github. It is touted as an uncensored alternative to Twitter. Each community or instance creates its own rules, and on the website of the main instance, there is some minimum conduct to avoid sexist, xenophobic messages, avoid child pornography or excessive advertising.
Nextdoor: It is a social network on local issues, where a user can answer questions they have about their community or neighborhood. It arrived in Spain in 2018, although it had already been created at the beginning of the decade. In order to activate a new neighborhood, you must convince at least ten people in three weeks. These people should be your neighbors with the mission of strengthening the community and having a place to discuss neighborhood problems, attend meetings or simply talk about what has happened in your area. You can also use it to ask your neighbors for favors.
Puebloo: This social network also focuses on closeness and interaction with your community. But instead of focusing on neighborhoods, it focuses on towns and villages. You can find out what is happening around your town. Let you search for your childhood friends or make new friends in your community. You can share information about your grandparents, use the calendar to add events such as holidays, or even search for work.
Diaspora: This is a social network that allows you to publish content (also to manage other social networks), free software. It is similar to Facebook in the way of publishing (texts, sharing news, uploading photos ...). It was born in 2010 and it also came to Spain early at a time when people began to question privacy on Facebook. In the diaspora, you are the owner of your information, which means that you do not assign, for example, the rights of an image that you share with any company. It is managed by a non-profit organization, so the information is not sold to companies and, of course, there is no advertising.
Friendica: It is a social network based on free and open-source software where you can make publications, upload photos, create events ... It works in a similar way to Facebook, but is made in open-source language and works through different servers or managed 'nodes' by individuals. The goal is to connect friends, acquaintances, or people with the same interests in member groups. Communication within a group is restricted to group members, but a user can belong to more than one group. You can share, comment and publish posts and photos. The publications have no space limit and, as in Facebook, can include multimedia material, links, and geolocation. The user can customize the degree of privacy of his profile and design your wall from a custom template.
Houseparty: This is an alternative to group video calling platforms (Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, which are the best known) but which is also presented as a social network where interaction is face-to-face. Its main characteristic is that it offers a playful approach to calls, which includes -for example- games designed to be played in a group, such as Pictionary or Trivial. The app allows you to make direct video calls or chat with any of your Houseparty contacts. Besides that, it offers the possibility of creating a kind of virtual "rooms" in which other users join to have a group video call.
Peertube: This is an alternative to Youtube. It is a platform where you can watch and share videos. PeerTube is an open-source project that seeks to offer an alternative to video services on the web. It is a decentralized video streaming platform that uses P2P. With PeerTube, anyone can set up their own server with videos and distribute the bandwidth among users, just like when we seeding a torrent.
PixelFeed: PixelFeed is the alternative to Instagram. It does not have confusing algorithms like Instagram that prevent you from knowing how to get more visibility. The posts are listed here in chronological order. It is an open-source alternative, without ads and with a focus on the privacy of its users.
Identi.ca: This is a Twitter-style microblogging social network, but free software, created by a Canadian company. One of the peculiarities of Identi.ca is that even if the website crashes, any user can change places and remain connected, similar to how Diaspora works. In addition, if a government wants to impose censorship (as has happened with China and Twitter ), the user can also avoid it with the same system. Any user can take the software and set up their own microblogging network on a server they own.
Vero: It got a lot of attention in its early days. Vero is a "kind of Instagram" that allows you to upload photos and video, like many others, but also links and recommendations both for places, from restaurants to public spaces, and for cultural products (books, movies, or series). It does not condition its publications with algorithms and is free of advertising. Vero is based on the fact that you do not have to share everything with everyone, therefore it urges you to organize your contacts into four groups: followers, acquaintances, friends, and close friends.