This week, Facebook rolled out Atlas – an advertising company that will now follow your online activity, even when you’re not on Facebook, to serve up even more targeted ads to you. Not a fan of this new development? (#FBBigBrother) Then check out some alternative social networks that are both Atlas and ad-free.

There’s definitely power in numbers. In terms of sheer numbers alone, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus make up the majority of users who participate in social networks. Sure, all your friends, coworkers, and people of your past and present are there, but what alternatives do you have in the social networking age? Here are a few hidden gems that should reignite your love for social networking.  


Ello is an advertisement-free social network that is both super cool and exclusive. You can only join when a friend invites you, adding to the mystique and allure of this new online social sphere. We always want we do not have. Once you’re in, Ello lets you use emojis, hashtags, share and upload videos, and basically do a lot of the things you do on Facebook, but without the data sharing to advertisers. On their FAQ, the Ello team cheekily wrote to a comment someone stated,
 “You’ll never be worth $30 billion like Facebook that way. We’re not interested in ruling the world. We think people that are motivated to do things like that have unresolved psychological problems.”


Tired of your friends’ boring posts and events that just don’t reflect your own interests or passions? Symafour bridges the gap between what you love and other like-minded people who share the same passions as you. Using your location to let you plant your flag and create a meet up on the fly, Symafour doesn’t share your data with any advertisers either. Want to know what your friends are doing nearby? Check your radar or chat loops to see what events are going down. Not to toot on our own horn, but the app just won a GD USA Magazine design award for the website. launch_the_app


Launch is like Tinder meets LinkedIn meets Foursquare. The app works as an ice breaker, and can be used to either make a new personal or professional connection. View their picture and see what they’re looking for in their description. If you see someone you like in your vicinity, simply click hello and ask to meet right then and there. Another cutting edge feature to Launch is that it will be made available for Google Glass when it goes live to the general public! Socializing online, hands-free, now that’s the future of social networking.  


Path is very similar to Facebook, except for one fundamental difference: it only allows a maximum of 150 friends. Do you really know all 2,689 of the people on your friends list? Answer honestly! Path doesn’t think you do either. The app allows you to share photos and video with your friends, and to truly stay in contact with the people in your life who matter the most. Best yet, it’s also advertisement-free.  

Further Reading

Wanna read more? Check out these cool articles about our favorite alternative social networking sites.   “Launch – Dating/ Social App Built for Google Glass.” By Rick Dawson, Tech Warriorz. “Doctor, tech startup create social app for Android, Google Glass.” By Margaret Cashill, Tampa Bay Business Journal.    
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