Will The ‘Anti-Facebook’ Unthink Be The Next Big Thing In Social Networks?

Unthink Social NetworkThere’s no doubt that Facebook is by far the world’s leading social network and no other competitor comes close. Over the years, several new social networks have come up with varied strategies to compete with Facebook. Those who tried to clone Facebook failed miserably. Others which took the anti-Facebook route didn’t fare any better.

IMO, Google+ is perhaps the only social network which set alarm bells ringing at Facebook as it hit the world’s leading social network where it hurts most. It leveraged Facebook’s weaknesses and backed by Google’s marketing prowess delivered a social network which stood tall as a competitor to Facebook, at least when it launched. However, as time has passed, as some of the launch euphoria died down, questions continue to be asked if Google+ has the legs to take on Facebook in the longer term.

And now there’s another new ‘anti-Facebook’ social network on the horizon – Unthink. It claims to be a ‘fresh take on social networks’ and several critics have already proclaimed it to be the ‘next Facebook killer’. Though it’s still early days, Unthink already has more than 100,000 people signed up in a matter of days. Will its anti-Facebook approach pay off? Or is it just another passing fad trying to take the sheen off the world’s largest social network. Let’s dig deeper.

What is Unthink?

You’ve got to give credit to Unthink – it took a novel approach as a freer, less commercial alternative to all existing social networks. The idea is to give users complete control over their information and not letting advertisers get at it. Therefore, you do not have any irritating ads and you define what you want to see and what you don’t.

Further, Unthink clearly takes a dig at Facebook’s privacy woes as it claims to be a savior for people who  are frustrated by unfavorable privacy policies, in-your-face advertising and unexpected updates that keep them scrambling to protect their information.

Unthink takes a different approach to advertising as it invites users to choose a brand “sponsor” that will cover the costs of maintaining their profile in exchange for being showcased on their page. Users who prefer to keep businesses off the profiles Unthink calls “suites” can do so by paying $2 a year. Of course, it’s too early to say whether this would be a sustainable model as brands have not yet been admitted to Unthink.

To sum it up, Unthink claims to be a ‘cause’ rather than a business.

Unthink Privacy

If it’s got to be anti-Facebook, it’s got to do something with privacy. Contrary to Facebook, Unthink makes new user profiles to be private by default. Unthinkers can create three different profiles as customized public faces to friends and family, brands and professional contacts.

Why is Unthink anti-Facebook?

Unthink claims that unlike Facebook, it allows users to retain ownership of the information they post. The only rule on Unthink is that there are no rules, unlike Facebook where you have well defined privacy policy, terms and conditions and a rather opaque advertising policy for users. It’s already being as hailed as the social network for people sick of Facebook ‘spying’.

Facebook Killer – Really?

I’ve always believed that you should aim high. If you aim to defeat the champions, you stand a chance to compete with them. However, it shouldn’t be all sweet talk and you should have done your homework before you mess with the biggies. While Unthink surely comes across as an interesting new phenomenon among social networks, I think that its anti-Facebook is more of a publicity stunt.

Though the platform looks promising and deserves applause for ‘thinking differently’, it’s still in beta and any comparisons to Facebook would be unfair.

Have you tried Unthink? What do you make of its anti-Facebook stand? Do you think Unthink has the potential to be the next big think among social networks? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.

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  1. Bookmarks for November 3rd from 09:50 to 10:31 « Mark's life

    […] [toread] Will The ‘Anti-Facebook’ Unthink Be The Next Big Thing In Social Networks? | | … – Share this:   […]

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  4. Anonymous

    Tried the site. It’s terrible. I’ll stick with Facebook. 

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  6. jordankeats

    Awesome reportage, Douglas.

    While I was waiting for the Emancipation Suitcase to export my media for Facebook to UNTHINK, yesterday – I realized Facebook is more about “who” is there (social graph) rather than the content I’ve upped. And, if I can not export my contacts from Facebook over to UNTHINK there is no clear difference between it and Diaspora.

    Diaspora has a straight forward taxonomy of tagging, similar to that of the late great Delicious (RIP), which will allow me to find and build a network of strangers based on interest over there as we all have done over the last couple of years on Twitter. I’ll keep building on Diaspora until UNTHINK gets a larger audience and defines what it is (LinkedIn/ Facebook clone? ). Having said that, UNTHINK’s business model of companies sponsoring content producers has heaps of potential, far more than Sponsored Tweets or Facebook Ads.

    Thanks for letting me leave my thoughts,



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    […] clone and then end up realizing that it wasn’t a good plan in the first place. Others such as Unthink dare to challenge Facebook and though they manage to grab eyeballs, it’s difficult to predict […]

  8. There are just too much happening in the mobile world today: Fall of Giants, Revolutionary UI, “Anti-facebook” and Mary Meeker mega-trends | Morten Jacobsen

    […] Unthink, marketing itself as anti Facebook, are trying to provide a social media where the user isn’t the item sold, as told by Smedio. […]

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