Fast-Growing Alternative To Facebook And Twitter Finds Post-Trump Surge 'Messy'

The alternative social network MeWe had 12 million users at the end of 2020. Barely three weeks into 2021 — and two since a right-wing mob attacked the U.S. Capitol — the company says it's now passed 16 million. CEO Mark Weinstein says this popularity is a testament to the reason he launched MeWe in 2016 as an alternative to Facebook. MeWe markets itself as privacy forward. It doesn't harness users' data to sell ads or decide what content to show them. "There's no targeting, there's no algorithm manipulating your news feed. No advertisers or marketers can reach or target you with anything," Weinstein said. Instead, MeWe makes money by selling subscriptions that give members extra features. But privacy concerns aren't the only factor in MeWe's recent growth. It's one of a crop of digital upstarts — including the social network Gab and the messaging app Telegram — receiving an influx of former President Donald Trump's supporters who have grown disillusioned with mainstream social media.