Facebook had no trouble surpassing MySpace in 2004, or side-stepping Google’s attempt of one-upping the social media giant with Google Plus. It seemed as if any attempt to gain control of the social networking scene would be futile. According to Natasha Dedis, it is time for Facebook to release the people from its spell. Dedis is the CEO and founder of the newest social networking startup, Unthink. The website was launched in beta back on October 25and has attracted over 100,000 new users since the launch. Although users aren’t deleting their Facebook profiles just yet, it is clear that Unthink has people thinking.
Dedis made it very clear that Unthink is not a business, it’s a cause. The newest social networking site has been funded by $2.5 million in investments from venture capitalists. While that’s a nice chunk of change for the new startup, compare that to Facebook, which is now worth around $100 billion. This is clearly a major mismatch right from the get-go. Unthink does, however, have one ace in the hole; the recent demand for change.
Riding the Wave
Why scale a mountain when you can just blast right through it? Unthink has hopped on the new wave of social change that has taken the world by storm. The Occupy Wall Street movement that began back on September 17has served as the base for the “99 percent” to make their stand. Unthink now has the chance to expand the movement to the social media realm. While Unthink and the Occupy movement were originally unrelated, CNN believes that the two could do some damage together.
Power to the People
Unthink offers something that Facebook does not. It gives users the chance to become owners of their own space, and to be in control of ALL of their own information. Dedis spoke at the September Tampa Bay Barcamp shouting to the crowd; “If we want to be free, we have to control our own communications…we have to claim that power!”
Could Facebook Suffer an Unthinkable Fate?
While it seems unlikely that the small scale startup could topple the social media behemoth, Dedis wants to assure all prospective Unthink users that their information will belong solely to them. Users will also have complete control of their information, and will get to decide which advertisers (if any) that they want to release their information to.
Many of the complaints regarding some of Facebook’s policies have been answered by Unthink. Only time will tell if users are serious enough about protecting their information to leave Facebook for the new startup.