All of us are addicted to social media and it is not surprising to see new platforms coming up to get us hooked to it even more.
Most of the social media platforms make money by getting users to click on the ads. However, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is all set to change it. Wales is launching a new social network site that is supported by users rather than advertisers.
The new platform is called WT: Social and it aims to compete with Twitter and Facebook. Wales plans to finance this platform through user donations instead of advertising.
Started as Wikitribune, a website that published original news stories, WT: Social never gained much traction. So, Wales is moving it to a new platform with more focus on social media networking.
Just like Wikitribune, WT: Social will also post articles but the algorithm will prioritize on newest stories first instead of the content with the most “likes”. Wales will, however, include an “upvote” feature similar to Reddit / Quora in the near future.
Wales also adds that though the platform will nurture niche groups, bad actors will be removed as he does not want the platform to devolve into a site of hate.
WT: Social went live last month and already has 50,000 users. Currently, it is putting users signing up on a short waiting list unless they donate or invite their peers to sign up. However, soon, the platform will be free to join. Wales aims to have 50 million to 500 million users on the platform.
Earlier this year, another Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger asked people to boycott social media sites on July 4 and 5. He said that most social media platforms have abused people’s rights.
Many important social media platforms have tried to hold their ground against titans like Facebook and Twitter. However, most of them haven’t been successful in doing so. Even Google failed to match up to Facebook’s power when it tried to break the market with Google+.
So, whether WT: Social can hold ground against Facebook and Twitter remains to be seen. Also, asking users to donate may not go down well but since Wikipedia has been around for 18 years based on that model,
This donation is currently around $10 / month or $93 / Year. You cannot customize the amount of donation so it is more like a Subscription service rather than a "Donation".
We have not seen the complete UI/UX of the platform but from the outside, it does not seem to be an attractive platform for users to shift. The newer generations are getting more addicted to Rich Content which is in the form of Images and Videos. Text-based social media platforms will not do too well in the future.
We will have to wait and see if WT: Social can give tough competition to giant social media networks.