The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

Friends flee Facebook in hunt for new social media

Facebook might have backtracke­d on its Australian news ban but experts say the user exodus has already begun, writes Jennifer Dudley Nicholson

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Social media analysts say “anti-Facebook sentiment” is at an all-time high after the company’s bold move to ban hundreds of pages from its platform in Australia, and alternativ­es such as Australian made network LITT, hyperlocal network Nextdoor, and privacy-focused Me We are signing up disaffecte­d Facebook users.

The US tech giant banned all news from being shared or seen on its platform in Australia for eight days to protest news laws.

But social media strategist Meg Coffey said the ban appeared to have backfired on the company, and would make users rethink how much time and effort they put into the platform, and smaller firms reconsider their Facebook investment­s.

“I think Facebook underestim­ated the Australian public and they will be looking for alternativ­es,” she said.

“The anti-Facebook sentiment has been growing over the years. It’s not that we’re spending less time on social media, we’re just not on Facebook.”

Those alternativ­es include the ad-free Me We, whose founder Mark Weinstein told News Corp he expected a wave of new Aussie sign-ups following Facebook’s ban.

“We know there’s a group of 250,000 rugby players already using the app, and we see four or five per cent of our members coming from Australia,” he said.

Another Facebook substitute is LITT, an Australian start-up that launched last year and promises to reward members with credits for watching ads and offer more reporting tools.

Co-founder Peter Salom said the company had seen a spike in interest over the past week and “our numbers represent a surge in people looking for an alternativ­e”.

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