Review: MeWe is a Private Social Network Taking on Facebook

2 minute read
| Quick Look Review

Launched in 2016, MeWe is a private social network that wants to take on the likes of Facebook and Twitter. There are no ads—targeted or otherwise—and no tracking users of any kind, such as data mining.

[The Father of the Web is Backing a Private Social Network]

MeWe: The Private Social Network

When I first joined MeWe, I started looking for groups to join. I found an Apple one and a metal music group. Each group has a group chat, and depending on how many members there are, can quickly swamp you with notifications. There is no way to leave each chat, although you can mute the notifications and hide the group.

When I looked in the metal group chat, the first thing I saw was some dude asking for boob pics. I mean, I know the internet is the Wild West, but c’mon bro. If your kids join MeWe, just know that the group chat is an unmoderated chat room with strangers.

You can join group chats in MeWe, a private social network.

Other than that, most the of the features of MeWe are standard for a social network. You can share posts, GIFs, pictures, etc. to your Home Feed. However, by default only people in your contacts and see what you post.

Anyone can create a group, and you can choose three options: Private (invite-only), Selective (owner or admin approval required to join), and Open (anyone can join). You can opt to include the group in the MeWe group directory or not. If you change your mind later you can switch the group settings.

Screenshots of MeWe groups, a private social network.

Finding and creating groups

When it comes to chat, again it’s pretty much the same as other chat apps. You can video call, voice call, send regular chats and secret chats. Secret chats are end-to-end encrypted, and although it’s an in-app subscription, you can try it free for 30 days.

That’s how MeWe plans to stay in business. Since it doesn’t sell access to its users to advertisers, there is a MeWe Store with emojis and the secret chat feature. Presumably more content will be added over time. Getting secret chat is a subscription costing US$0.99 per month, or US$5.99 per year. Other than that the app is free.

Screenshots of MeWe chats, a private social network.

Creating posts, viewing a chat tutorial, and checking out Secret Chat

Verdict

Overall my impression is: meh. There’s nothing wrong with MeWe, but I have social network fatigue. This isn’t going to replace any of my current social networks. However, if you can convince enough friends and family members to join, then maybe you’ll get more out of it than I did.

[Social Media Firms Should Try Evolving Like Apple, not Lemmings]

Product: MeWe

Company: Sgrouples, Inc.

List Price: Free

Rating:

It's Okay. Get It If You Need It.

Pros:
  • Privacy
  • No ads, tracking, or data mining
Cons:
  • Be wary of chatting with strangers in group chats

3 Comments Add a comment

  1. Lee Dronick

    I signed up there. I like the art, poetry and such, but the political groups are mostly opposite of my position. That is okay, it is just that I don’t want to engage in dialoge with people deeply entrenced no matter their ideology. I also like that I see posts in chronological order, something Facebook can’t seem to do, by design or bug.

  2. JMaldaner

    I created an account and downloaded their app. But, for the life of me, I can’t get excited about filling out my profile or actually engaging anyone in this environment. Social media fatigue has hit me, too. If there were a way to import my Facebook contacts and send them each an invite, then maybe MeWe could replace Facebook. But, I am a member of several FB Groups that would all have to migrate. I doubt that would happen. So, at this time, I am sitting this one out.

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