As if there weren’t enough social networks out there, here’s another new social network. But this one hopes to attract the likes of online freedom activists, and it even wrangled the attention of Anonymous.
Minds.com is a social network like most others: It lets users share links as well as their thoughts with their followers via the usual status updates.
But Minds, which officially launched both its desktop and mobile apps today, hopes to entice users given its promise of security. The program is completely open source and encrypts all private messages sent between users.
“Our stance is the users deserve the control of social media in every sense,” Minds’ founder Bill Ottman told Business Insider.
This distinguishes itself from Facebook, which has long had questionable privacy practices.
Minds also promises to use a de-mystified algorithm to boost content. Facebook for years has been changing which content gets pushed onto people’s newsfeed, which has ultimately resulted in a huge decline of organic reach. Instead of remaining a mystery to its users, Minds’ algorithm works by giving users more reach the more they post. People using Minds are then able to pick and choose which post they want more prominently displayed throughout the website.
As Ottman explained it, this allows users on Minds to “earn virality.”
The website has been testing interfaces for a couple of years now. Without a formal ‘launch’ Ottman told Business Insider that it gained 60 million visits. A great deal of the users who turned to Minds, said Ottman, were those “interested in alternative media.” These are people with interests like online freedom and citizen journalism.
Through these trials over the last years Minds has attracted a core group of online activists. In fact, the Anonymous Art of Revolution Facebook page — which has over 1 million followers — has called for a hackathon to build on Mind’s code.
“Anonymous is initiating a call to hackers, designers, creators and programmers to unite worldwide. Let us collaborate on the code of Minds.com and build a top site that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people,” this Anonymous-affiliated page posted.
Whether or not this will help Minds gain a core audience remains to be seen. Every few months a new program launches — be it Ello or Yo — promising to be different better than the likes of Facebook. Minds thinks its focus on privacy and trust will help it differentiate itself from other Facebook alternatives.