Social networks you can use as a Facebook alternative - Top 8 list

Tired of using Facebook? Facebook jail, censorship, political agendas, spying? There are other social networks out there that you can use as a Facebook alternative, and they are all free to use!
With the recent format changes, the "new Facebook" has left a lot of people scratching their heads. I know a few people who will not take the time to figure it out. And the censorship, with elections coming, that is an outrage!Social Networks Facebook Alternative article image

Table of Contents

Free means free

In this article, as far as the ranking goes, free means free. Social networks must have some means of support. Servers, bandwidth, storage, these all cost money.  I want to point out that, for the user, as far as the use any given Facebook alternative, it ought to be completely free. Just as Facebook is for end users. In other words, ads or some other methods of monetizing must be used, rather than taking from the user's pockets. Facebook is long known for ad monetization, and long accused of selling user data. That isn't true, according to Vox.com, pasted below and linked to the article:

Social Networks facebook income

Facebook is in your business

I am not a shill for Facebook. Simply put, it means that most of the scuttlebutt out there is flat wrong. In the same article Vox goes on that, yes, Facebook's information gathering did result in a third party data company, Cambridge Analytica, getting ahold of as many as 87 million user's data. Old news, however, that should bother you. A lot. Add to that the sheer level of hateful political speech at Facebook, and ugh, no wonder people are leaving! If Facebook jail is going to be used ("ain't never been there, they tell me it's nice..") then drop the haters in there. Simple as pie.

As an owner of social networks

This article originated on Friendlsr.com, which is one many social networks that we run. So, for the sake of clarity and full disclosure, I want you to know that we are biased. Thus, since it is my website, I will of course rate Friendslr.com in the first spot. If this is off-putting for you, fine. On that note, however, Friendslr.com itself is simply a Joomla site running EasySocial software. ANYONE can start a social network using this software, and many social networks you may have visited use it too. Our first article on Friendslr talks quite a bit about these networks. Read it here.

The real cost

Social networks money for servers image

Everything you ever got for free certainly had a cost. Even giveaway items have something attached to them, even if it is simple as hoping you'll buy some of said product, or more. Remember when cell phones were free? That cost was built into your monthly service fees. Facebook, yes, it is free to use, but they monetize it. As I said at the top of this article, every element of facebook, or a facebook alternative site costs somebody something. Friendslr is no different. We pay all the associated cost to keep the site running. To offset that, one must monetize somehow. However, the basic premise is that the suite is free for you to use. Most social networks work likewise. It's a solid and proven business model. Others are free to use, yes, but charge you for add-ons and upgrades.

The List

There are many general topic-wide open social networks, and there are a whole bunch that are niche related. That's smart, because going head-to-head with Facebook is dumb. Ask google and their google+ network. They got totally crushed.

There are also a TON of social components to other websites, and many, in honorable mentions, that, while they have a social component or 5, they really are something else. So, without further ado...

Friendlsr

Friendslr Social Network

https://friendslr.com
Friendslr is still a toddler, barely out of diapers, and, since it is my site, ain't it adorbs??? The main pages are still a little bland, character will come with age. 100% totally free to use, ads pay the bills. You can upload images, post status updates. You link to videos, but you cannot upload them, WAY to much cost for storage! Make friends, create groups and pages, that is what social networks are for. You can sign up here.

Twitter

Twitter Social Network image

https://twitter.com
Unless you've been dead for a decade or more, or living in a cave, you probably have, and use, Twitter. They take this slot because, well, they are HUGE and a viable Facebook alternative. Just about all that I list here I have accounts on.
Twitter is ad funded, and 100% free to use. The president uses it a bunch, so much so that he occasionally gets called Twitler.
Lately Twitter has also come under fire for censorship. Myself, I really only use it to promote stuff. HMU @friendslrcom

Influenster

Influenster social network image

https://influenster.com
I got wrapped up in looking this site over I totally forgot to gather data and a screen shot. In that influenster is really is not a social network per se, more a review site, I almost omitted it. However, I think it is a pretty stellar website, and besides, we all need something better than yelp. 100% free to use, but you have to answer a gazillion questions first. Also, I'm a dude, so no, I have zero interest in makeup and makeup foundations, skin products, etc. don't worry guys, there's gadgets and gizmos too. BTW, I saw zero ads. Weird.

MeWe

mewe social network

https://mewe.com
Aside from sounding like something a toddlers says, all sad eyed at 2AM when they walk into your room clutching their Teddy bear, MeWe is a clever play on words. Me and We. Together, I figured that all out on my own...
MeWe is free to join, and free to use to a point. This social network, however, charges you for upgrades and such. Totally sensible, since there are no ads. MeWe Premium is $4.99 a month, and includes unlimited void and video calling, sticker/emojis, 100 gigs cloud storage, themes, and a premium badge for your profile.
All in all MeWe is slick, it's fast, except when uploading a video, and your privacy is assured. And there'll be no big shots putting you in MeWe jail. MeWe is sort of like asking yourself the question: What if myspace had not committed Cybercide? MeWe appears to be the grandson of the Adam of social networks.

Medium

Medium.com
Right, so if a stark naked page was ice cold, and Facebook was scorching hot, medium would be, well, medium. To encapsulate the website, it's sort of like Digg, but less awesome. This is like blogger, but it a way better format. You go to Medium to write. And read. I saw a lot of stuff that, were I not pushed for a deadline, I'd cozy up and read. Were I not the owner off several blogs, I'd for SURE write there! So, no, it's not really a social network, but interesting. No ads, but to upgrade you will spend $5 a month. This unlock "Paywalls". you know, like that English online thing has. You start reading a great story and Blamo! "Pay us if you want to read more". I hate it when that happens. Oh, and that $5 also pays te writers, as I understand it.

WT.social

https://wt.social
I was so excited when I found this! And then I wasn't. Made by the co-founder of Wikipedia, one of my all-time favorite sites, I thought, "Home-RUN!" Well, slow down there Sparky, I said when I signed up. One thing you see once you are in is Subwikis. Now, Wikipedia is great guys, really, but leave the shop at the shop why don't ya? Subwiki? What is that? From what I gather, it's Groups in normal places. And this lead off one it wants me to join? Totally serious here: "HUMAN SCUM: Progressive Political Cartoons". Um, no.
Sign Up via Facebook does not work, it is not set up. Sign up via Twitter does work, however. Once I was in, more politics and hate nonsense.
100% free to use, they rely on donations, ala Wikipedia. Below is what it looks like inside. See, I'm not making the HUMAN SCUM stuff up. Maybe WTF social is more apt.

Moco

https://mocospace.com
I like Moco a lot. MocoSpace is a little reminiscent of MySpace, by name anyway. It also looks and functions a lot like some of the software bundles I tried before setting up Friendslr. The site loads fast initially, but everything else is slow,. My profile photos went in sideways and I could not fix that. The site on whole looks an behaves like a dating site. You can add photos, and words. That is it.
Moco is ad supported. However, you can "go pro" for between $4.99 and $9.99 a month.  Aside from the cost, it is in the same genus and species as social networks.

Yubo

https://yubo.live/en
I did the English link because, well, I speak English. This come in last ONLY because they force you to use a mobile device only. That is flat dumb. I tried google play, yep, mobile only. I guess that is where we are going. It would not make the cut except that it came highly touted.
From the app page:

Yubo is an online social community to find new friends, chat, and text with people just like you, and build a social network based on YOUR interests!
1/ STREAM: Go live and stream videos with friends! You can start a live video chat with up to 10 friends and even invite new friends to join you. Sing, dance, talk about your day, send messages to the friends you love, or play a party game - go social with Yubo, tell your Livestream story to the world!
2/ CHAT: Use the chat feature to say hi to new friends as well as reconnect with old ones.
3/️‍️ FIND A COMMUNITY: Are you into art, games, theater, beauty, yoga, sports, music, dance, travel, manga, cinema? There are friends all over the world for you!
4/ SHARE: Earn rewards for inviting your best friends to join Yubo on Snapchat and other social media. Chat and text online with your friends and share your interests and stories Livestream with a new community of people!
5/ PLAY & SOCIALIZE: Have hours of fun playing with your friends our Q&A game To Be Honest (go live with questions about YOU and let the people vote on your answers) or guessing pictures in our challenging drawing quiz, Would You Rather and Let Them Guess! Chat, talk & play for hours!

I hear blah blah blah blah.

Honorable Mentions

In no particular order:
TikTok  - this is a wonderful format if all you're doing is very short videos. I have tried it out and had good success. Downside, a lot of kids, so keep it clean buddy.
DelightfulCoffee.com - Here it's all about the coffee, from articles to coffee funnies and memes. There is a social component to.
Tumblr - I have a few accounts there, but can never remember my log in info. Anyway, Tumblr has all the making for a huge social network, except, that is, focus.
Laughshop.com - all about the humor, but there is a social component, but it is clunky. This site has been around since 1998, and serves up the funny daily.
Digg - on of my personal faves, it really isn't as much a social thing as an article thing.
Instagram - A LOT of users, but me, I don't get it. Why do I want to make all my pictures square, or crop them such. Why can't you guys just be normal?!? And you still cannot upload from your computer?
Caffeine is a relatively new social media platform that’s set to reinvent live streaming. Users can join as a viewer or a broadcaster. As a view, you have access to live streamers from all over the world. Big-name gamers, athletes, and entertainers produce weekly shows.

Conclusion

We live in a world that has come leaps and bounds when it comes to the virtual, cyber, world. However, social networking is still, really, in it's infancy. you will see a lot more come down the pike. Yet, for now anyway, it's Facebook or a good Facebook alternative.