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MeWe: Get to know this Alt-Tech Social Media Platform and How it Can Affect Your Brand

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Encrypted chat, light moderation, and a growing user base make this “Anti-Facebook” Facebook copy ripe for disinformation campaigns and potential incidents. The good news is that Yonder has added the capability to collect from MeWe in order to keep brands informed and ahead of narratives cropping up in this online collective.

MeWe UX 12.2018

What is it? 

Founded in 2016, MeWe is a social networking platform that models itself after Facebook. It features a news feed, groups to join, and the ability for users to share pictures and post status updates. But unlike Facebook, MeWe has a unique approach to user data — no ads allowed, and no sharing of personal information with advertisers.  Further, the platform offers a private, encrypted chat option that deletes communications from the company’s servers after messages have been delivered.

Who likes it? 

MeWe initially gained popularity as people fled from Facebook in the aftermath of the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal. Soon after, the platform started drawing naturopathic health activists, anti-vaxxers, and users wary of “big tech” and censorship. After the 2020 election, mainstream social media companies announced a tougher stance on hate speech and misinformation. These stricter moderation policies sent an increased number of conservative social media users, far right political fringesters, and hard-line conspiracy theorists flocking to MeWe, looking for a platform with a lax approach to content moderation.

How fast is it growing? 

According to Fortune, users downloaded MeWe more than 1.4 million times during the first three weeks of November 2020 (a 20-fold increase from October.) MeWe also saw an increase in activity after Parler was removed from the Apple and Google app stores in early January 2021, with 110,200+ new installs that weekend. The app has since been adding over 20,000 new members per hour. MeWe currently claims to have about 16 million users, and new reporting suggests that the platform gained 2.5 million users in the past week alone. 

Why should your brand care? 

As conservatives, pro-privacy/pro-security/anti-Facebook users, and members of the far-right seek out new platforms, MeWe stands out as a potential long-term benefactor, with the infrastructure and funding in place to successfully manage its skyrocketing user base. Brands will need to determine if they should have a presence on this growing network, and if so, if they are willing to engage with users there. Online factions know that pulling brands into discussions is an easy way to amplify a message, so your brand may show up on MeWe, like it or not. We have already seen fake company pages created for multiple brands.

Watch below as our CEO and CIO discuss challenges involved in monitoring activity on fringe networks and how to get better visibility into fringe and dark spaces online.

Knowing a platform like MeWe and monitoring its activities can help keep a brand ahead of the game, informed with complete information to make tough decisions, and ready to prevent incidents and social media crises before they hit hard. That’s good news for me, we, and all of us.

Traditional social analytics tools can’t monitor fringe networks where brand-damaging narratives get their start.

Download our guide to cover up your social analytics blindspots.

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