is a new, alternative social network that ensures its members an ad-free platform. The San Francisco startup charges each member an annual fee of $50 in exchange for peace of mind that their activity won’t be data-mined—a concern among many users of social media
lately. Similarities to Twitter abound
(streaming status updates, follow buttons, profiles, and mentions), but members have more capacity to share their thoughts with 256 characters available per post. The platform has opened its API to developers with limited restrictions, with the hope that they will build tools like mobile and desktop applications that will make App.net indispensable.
New social discussion platform Branch
is attempting to change the way people communicate online. Instead of simply posting in the free-for-all that is Facebook, Branch users start conversations intended for meaningful dialogue
. They can then invite others through Twitter or email to join in and further the discourse. Co-founder Josh Miller
explains that it “takes advantage of the desire for more intimate, private conversations of self-selected groups...Branch is trying to find a way to lower the signal-to-noise ratio of babblers to meaningful participants." Conversations can also be embedded into a blog or shared through social media to integrate each exchange into the wider web seamlessly.
Actress/fashion model Lily Cole
is promoting the notion of kindness as currency with Impossible
, her new “social giving network” that facilitates simple sharing of skills and services. Currently in beta, the minimal site lets participants choose from a list of tasks that they need done or would like to do for others. Requests range from “I would like someone to give advice on law” to “I would like someone to look after my plants,” and anyone in a member’s local network can offer to help the person meet their need. Impossible has attracted several high-profile advisors
, including a major proponent of profitless sharing: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales