Launch of New Social Network Without Ads

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched an ad-free social network that is a rival to Facebook and Twitter. A new project is called WT: Social ⏤ a social network that is not related to Wikipedia but is inspired by its business model.

What Is WT?

According to the Financial Times , users in WT: Social can share links to materials and discuss them in a news feed similar to Facebook. The topics of discussion can be almost anything: from politics and technology to rock music and beekeeping.

To provide a new product, Wales wants to use the Wikipedia business model. WT: Social will rely on donations from a small number of users to get by without ads. It is precisely the advertisement that Wales blames for the problems of social networks existing today because poor-quality content is caused by spreading promoted posts. If Facebook and Twitter promote publishing with the most comments or likes on the top, then WT: Social will publish primarily fresh materials.

According to the founder, the example of Netflix and Spotify is proof that a new generation of users is ready to pay for “meaningful” content.

It is reported that the news feed of WT: Social is updated based on the chronology of posts, while Facebook forms a feed based on the number of likes and comments. The founder notes that over time, an upvote button will appear in WT: Social, which will allow users to recommend quality stories.

It is noted that since the launch in October, about 50 thousand users have come to WT: Social. According to Wales, more than 200 users made donations to the new social network. “It will not be very profitable, but it will be viable,” says Wales. The ideologue of the project believes that the time has come for a new place free from “clickable nonsense.”

"People are fed up with all this rubbish around ... News organizations are doing everything they can in this difficult environment, but in fact, the problem is to spread [the news]," concluded Wales.

How Do Ads Work in Social Networks?

For a long time, social networks have been used by entrepreneurs as advertising platforms. Indeed, to miss the opportunity to promote your product on the most popular resources, where millions of people spend so much time, would be at least short-sighted.

The tasks of collecting data about your target audience, reaching only interested buyers are much easier if you use advertising on social networks because users have provided you their data by filling out profiles. Marital status, place of residence, interests, and religion ⏤ all of these are already indicated on their pages, and you can use this information to get the most out of targeting.

Advertising on social networks is any paid content on a network of social platforms. Options run from a one-time Tweet or Facebook advertising message to a full-blown campaign with basic budgets. Each social network offers different options, which we will consider below.

For instance, Facebook offers several different ad formats:

●         A photo. One image. Specifications for photo ads vary depending on the purpose of the advertisement. For example, for clicks on your website, photo ad contains a heading of 25 characters, 90 characters of text and a link description of up to 30 characters. Depending on the purpose of the announcement, you can also add a call button such as "Go to the store," "Details" and "View menu."

●         Video. Video ads usually have the same action functions as in a photo. The required aspect ratio depends on the purpose of the campaign, but usually 16:9 or 1:1 work.

●         Carousel. A carousel ad allows you to include up to 10 images and links in one ad. You get 90 characters of text, a 40-character title and a 20-character description of the link. Images should have a 1:1 ratio.

●         Slide show. A slide show is an ad that creates a video from several static images. All images should have the same size and aspect ratio.

●         Canvas. Constructor Canvas provides additional design capabilities and allows you to create your individual layout. Canvas is a full-screen type of mobile ad that combines videos, photos, and call buttons.

As for Twitter, there are three different types of Twitter ads:

●         account promotion;

●         trend promotion;

●         promoting tweets.

Promoting tweets is messages that will appear directly in the feed of Twitter users that you are targeting. Account promotions are ads that offer targeted Twitter users to follow your brand (followers). Trends or Hot Topics on Twitter are the most talked about topics on the social network that appear on the left side of the page. Advanced trends allow you to put your story at the top of the list.

Facebook collects an audience from cities with over one million people, there are many specialists, representatives of top management and business owners. It sells high-quality goods and services. By the way, Instagram is now part of Facebook and is focused on the visual component. Most users log in from mobile devices. Goods and services that you can beautifully serve are well sold here.

As a result, targeted advertising on social networks and beyond is an effective channel of communication with the audience. Users indicate a lot of information that is so necessary for advertisers in their own profiles ⏤ this is not only gender, age, and marital status, but the interests and hobbies of the user.

There are many advantages to advertising on social networks including a low threshold for entry, a huge knowledge base about users, a wide range of tools with which the advertiser can get exactly the target audience.

However, at the same time, advertising is a necessary evil that needs to be limited. It is not a secret that poor quality ads lead to awful content that is very annoying to the users. Especially, when you aren’t interested in cheap goods from China, but Facebook thinks that you are quite an appropriate person for these things. Moreover, recent scandals such as “ why do our smartphones overhear us ?” or “why does Facebook overhear all users gathering personal information?” only add disputes to society.

That’s why Jimmy Wales is ready to contribute to a social network that will generate high-quality content. By the way, WT: Social has already created a waiting list for new users, but if you donate funds to the site, you cannot stand in the virtual “queue”.

In addition, the WT: Social is a derivative of the Wikitribune project, a collaboration media site that Wales began to develop. Wikitribune launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2017, but at that time it was not able to attract investors.