With the latest round of Facebook changes and more on the way, users made their disappointment and distress clear to Facebook in what has become almost a tradition. Users would complain for a few weeks and then get used to the changes and continue on with their social lives. A new social networking startup is hoping to take advantage of that initial disgruntled atmosphere that any layout change to Facebook seems to bring. This new social networking contender is called Unthink.
Unthink is attempting to harness anti-corporation sentiment that has been represented in the Occupy movements. The website is doing so by creating a series of videos taking stabs at the social networking giant. One such video has an actress fighting off the grasps of Facebook and Google+, claiming the services are oppressive and that it is a time for a social networking revolution.
Unthink launched just a few weeks ago, but is poised for the next part of Facebook’s major layout update that is to target user’s profile pages. Typically, while met with resistance, Facebook updates don’t impact the number of users active on the service but with Google+ and now Unthink in the game hoping to snatch up those who are discontent with the new changes yet to come, Facebook may see a drop of users to the very clearly anti-Facebook Unthink.
While the website, may have been launched a few weeks ago, it has been in the works since 2007. The story behind the website’s launch revolves around its CEO Natasha Dennis. After reading the terms of service for Facebook, she determined that it had an exploitative model of revenue creation. She claims that once users join Facebook, their information becomes marketable content as opposed to a place to share information and experiences.
Unthink plans to combat what it sees as Facebook’s oppressive and restrictive terms of service and unfair trade of personal data by letting users create suites. These suites are similar to Facebook profiles where users can store information about themselves and reach out to friends and family. To combat corporate control they offer users the option to select the corporation that will sponsor their suite or users can sponsor it themselves for $2 a month.
The terms of service make it clear that users will own their own information and information will only be shared by the direct consent of the users themselves. This is different from Facebook, who owns the information its users submit to the social network, allowing them to sell it to corporations or create tailored ads to its users. This also means users are solely responsible for any copyright violations which may occur on their suites. This prevents the service from disabling or deleting an account but puts the legal liability on the accounts user since they are claiming ownership to anything and everything on their account.
Unthink is yet another option in the growing industry of social networking. Their unique business model will undoubtedly make them appealing to those who are uncomfortable with corporations trading and sharing their information. The biggest thing Unthink has going against it is its name. The ambiguous name leads users to question what they are to Unthink.