30 votes

Thousands flock to Wikipedia founder's 'Facebook rival'

26 comments

  1. [5]
    Bullmaestro
    Link
    If the subscription fee was reduced significantly, I'd consider paying for WT:Social. £10 a month feels like too steep an asking price when there are far more useful and demanding services that...

    If the subscription fee was reduced significantly, I'd consider paying for WT:Social.

    £10 a month feels like too steep an asking price when there are far more useful and demanding services that cost a fraction of this amount.

    3 votes
    1. ubergeek
      Link Parent
      You don't have to subscribe. It just gets you ahead in the line.

      You don't have to subscribe. It just gets you ahead in the line.

      23 votes
    2. [3]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      One of the questions I have then is: what other revenue streams do those services have? Are those to your benefit as the user? Some of what people are paying for here is the knowledge that they...

      One of the questions I have then is: what other revenue streams do those services have? Are those to your benefit as the user? Some of what people are paying for here is the knowledge that they aren't being monetized.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Greg
        Link Parent
        For comparison, Facebook's total revenue comes to about $2.25/user/month (working from projected earnings of $67 billion this year on a user base of approximately 2.5 billion). They obviously have...

        For comparison, Facebook's total revenue comes to about $2.25/user/month (working from projected earnings of $67 billion this year on a user base of approximately 2.5 billion). They obviously have absurd economies of scale, but there's also a ~35% profit margin baked into those numbers.

        That suggests around $1.50-2.50/user/month would be a comfortable ballpark to operate an equivalent service at moderate to large scale, but amortising fixed costs over a smaller user base in the early days could give a higher number. Conversely, cutting away costs associated with the advertising and user profiling activities of Facebook could save significantly on the expenses side.

        5 votes
        1. vakieh
          Link Parent
          The economy of scale you're looking at is with the overheads that come to GETTING to that scale having been paid for and gone. Facebook did it by scooping up .com burst scraps and spending venture...

          The economy of scale you're looking at is with the overheads that come to GETTING to that scale having been paid for and gone. Facebook did it by scooping up .com burst scraps and spending venture capital, WT needs to get the ball rolling, and that takes dough.

          2 votes
  2. [2]
    guts
    Link
    $13 a month is kind of expensive for me. Besides privacy what other unique features does this social network provide?

    $13 a month is kind of expensive for me. Besides privacy what other unique features does this social network provide?

    3 votes
    1. SUD0
      Link Parent
      I agree, I think the cost is a little steep. I have not paid for this, but I am on the waiting list. This email that was sent out to already existing members kinda lays out what this site is...

      I agree, I think the cost is a little steep. I have not paid for this, but I am on the waiting list.

      This email that was sent out to already existing members kinda lays out what this site is trying to achieve and how that is different from already existing sites: https://mailchi.mp/52fcb7002745/wtsocial-join-the-admin-core-today-254537

      EDIT: Here is a small snippet from the email that I think is relevant.

      The social giants have a lot of problems we think a people-driven platform can solve.
      Fake news and clickbait are both endemic issues that can't be fixed with a myopic focus
      on 'algorithms' and 'engagement'.

      2 votes
  3. [10]
    NaraVara
    Link
    This is what they sound like talking about a Facebook "rival" that has thousands of members flocking to it. This is several orders of magnitude below a point where "rival" is an sensible term.

    This is what they sound like talking about a Facebook "rival" that has thousands of members flocking to it.

    This is several orders of magnitude below a point where "rival" is an sensible term.

    3 votes
    1. [9]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      A social network doesn't need Facebook numbers to replace it for me. If the top 0,1% (measured in character, not wealth) join, it will work.

      A social network doesn't need Facebook numbers to replace it for me. If the top 0,1% (measured in character, not wealth) join, it will work.

      6 votes
      1. [8]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        A social network’s value is more about where your friends and family (your actual social network) are. Their character or whatever doesn’t address that.

        A social network’s value is more about where your friends and family (your actual social network) are. Their character or whatever doesn’t address that.

        9 votes
        1. [6]
          Whom
          Link Parent
          I'm on WT.Social right now and I can tell you it's not working on a definition of "social media" nearly as strict as you are. It's social media in the same sense that Tildes or Reddit is...not...

          I'm on WT.Social right now and I can tell you it's not working on a definition of "social media" nearly as strict as you are. It's social media in the same sense that Tildes or Reddit is...not Twitter or Facebook. It has a few slightly more personal features, but for the most part, it's about posting links to subforums dedicated to certain topics.

          I don't feel the need to know anyone there personally.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            That makes the “Facebook rival” bit even less appropriate. So we’re not even dealing with scale, but function too?

            That makes the “Facebook rival” bit even less appropriate. So we’re not even dealing with scale, but function too?

            8 votes
            1. Whom
              Link Parent
              Sure, it's not the best title.

              Sure, it's not the best title.

              2 votes
          2. [3]
            Leonidas
            Link Parent
            Does the whole idea of "inviting family and friends" actually work out in practice, from what you've seen? I'd assume it's just random early adopters for the most part.

            Does the whole idea of "inviting family and friends" actually work out in practice, from what you've seen? I'd assume it's just random early adopters for the most part.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Whom
              Link Parent
              It's hard to get an idea of what the experience is like for others, but I'd say it seems to be working as a recruitment tool but not for actually networking with family and friends. The friend...

              It's hard to get an idea of what the experience is like for others, but I'd say it seems to be working as a recruitment tool but not for actually networking with family and friends. The friend feature seems comparable to Reddit (or at least, pre-redesign Reddit), where it's just...there.

              3 votes
              1. Leonidas
                Link Parent
                That's unfortunate, I hope they work on making it better. I saw there was a discussion thread/poll where people were editing a post to vote and add ideas to improve the site, so maybe that was one...

                That's unfortunate, I hope they work on making it better. I saw there was a discussion thread/poll where people were editing a post to vote and add ideas to improve the site, so maybe that was one of the suggestions. This kinda further dampens the facebook comparison though.

                Honestly, I don't know whether I'd want to suggest my friends or family get on the site in its current state, although if it helps get ahead in line I might get someone to just sign up as a favor rather than expect them to participate. If they have to wait in line too, that seems like a big ask for a site which is clearly still in need of refinement.

                1 vote
        2. Kuromantis
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          To be fair it the term 'social media' is pretty useless when it comes to describing a site's purpose. In twitter, for example, you have celebrities rambling about random aspects of their lives,...

          To be fair it the term 'social media' is pretty useless when it comes to describing a site's purpose. In twitter, for example, you have celebrities rambling about random aspects of their lives, politicians delivering serious to obviously canned responses to serious or made-up problems, anime artists sharing their work, YouTubers sharing sneak peeks for future videos or shilling out, all in the same platform, which is disponible in 33 languages across every continent except Sub-Saharan Africa. (which was started specifically as a SMS & microblogging site, hence the word limit). Not many 'social media platforms' actually have their intended purpose be their sole purpose, which can backfire intensely. Social media platforms might have decided recommend people with similar opinions to you as an unintended consequence in order to find people with similar hobbies to you, rather than to create an echo chamber of radicals and stifle communication between different political beliefs.

          2 votes
  4. [5]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I've seen some rumblings about this over the past few days but not read up on what exactly it is yet. Still, off rip, I'm very loath to support anything Jimmy Wales comes up with. It's hard to...

    I've seen some rumblings about this over the past few days but not read up on what exactly it is yet. Still, off rip, I'm very loath to support anything Jimmy Wales comes up with. It's hard to think of him as any more trustworthy than Zuck.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      tea_and_cats_please
      Link Parent
      Why? I've always had warm fuzzies toward Jimmy because Wikipedia is a great thing, I think. They've managed to stave off bad actors really well, despite being a huge target.

      Why? I've always had warm fuzzies toward Jimmy because Wikipedia is a great thing, I think. They've managed to stave off bad actors really well, despite being a huge target.

      11 votes
      1. culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        If you learn about the genesis of Wikipedia, you will see that Wales' involvement in its development was far from as altruistic as you might assume. At this point, I think he's more or less come...

        If you learn about the genesis of Wikipedia, you will see that Wales' involvement in its development was far from as altruistic as you might assume. At this point, I think he's more or less come to terms with what his role in history is attached to something so monumental , along with the reluctant coincidence that he isn't able to profit from it outright... he may have even grown into the responsibility it entails, but I don't see him as any particular visionary or anything.

        The documentary Truth in Numbers: Everything, According to Wikipedia might be a good starting point for a peek behind the curtain. Aside from however dubious its criticism of the website might be, it does show Wales in his own words and it's not particularly inspiring.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      balooga
      Link Parent
      Has he done something untoward? I don't know anything about the guy personally.

      Has he done something untoward? I don't know anything about the guy personally.

      4 votes
  5. [4]
    crdpa
    Link
    Made an account. The interface is terrible and has a lot of problems. Anyway... It won't rival Facebook. It is the same as Mastodon... There will be a lot of people there, but people that does not...

    Made an account. The interface is terrible and has a lot of problems.

    Anyway... It won't rival Facebook.

    It is the same as Mastodon... There will be a lot of people there, but people that does not interest me.

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      Leonidas
      Link Parent
      What instance did you join on Mastodon? I found migrating to a much smaller one with a specific subculture/interest to focus around helped a lot.

      What instance did you join on Mastodon? I found migrating to a much smaller one with a specific subculture/interest to focus around helped a lot.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        crdpa
        Link Parent
        It was linux rocks and later a technology oriented one, forgot the name. It's just that i don't care about fast paced interactions and being online all the time on social networks unless my...

        It was linux rocks and later a technology oriented one, forgot the name. It's just that i don't care about fast paced interactions and being online all the time on social networks unless my friends and familiy are there.

        4 votes
        1. Leonidas
          Link Parent
          Oh I see, I joined mastodon.social initially and then moved to sunbeam.city, which is a screened instance focused on ecology, art, and other stuff that fits the "solarpunk" movement. It's got some...

          Oh I see, I joined mastodon.social initially and then moved to sunbeam.city, which is a screened instance focused on ecology, art, and other stuff that fits the "solarpunk" movement. It's got some nice people and good content, but I don't really use it proactively like I do Twitter, Reddit, and this site.

          3 votes