As I mentioned the other day, Facebook is apparently…going through some things. Now, let’s be honest that #Romancelandia and Facebook have usually had a fairly adversarial relationship at best. Especially authors who write e-rom, LGBTQ, BDSM, and “dark” romances/erotica. Everything from having posts deleted and posting privileges suspended for vague content violations, to having to ridiculously fight to get ads or post boosts approved.
Also, if you are a sex-positive/sex-ed organization, or a kinky group, you will also want to look at moving to MeWe from Facebook.
Enter MeWe. They popped up a couple of years ago. As with many new social media sites, I signed up to get an account. I did like what I saw, but while their no-ads policy was great–in theory–I wasn’t sure how that would be a sustainable model. Especially when they swore not to sell user data, not to track you, etc. The whole too-good-to-be-true thing, right?
Fast-forward to now. MeWe is still rocking it, and they have a really nice iOS app. (I don’t have an Android phone so I can’t speak to that, but I’ve heard others love it.) Their commercial division (they apparently have a corporate project that’s giving Slack a run for its money) is where they make their bread-and-butter, which allows them to host MeWe and keep it free. And while I haven’t used the site nearly as much as I should have over the past couple of years, I realize that was a mistake on my part, because it’s a darned good site. (NAYY)
In light of all of Facebook’s recent fuckery (and past fuckery, like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and because Facebook just tends to piss me off in general on a daily basis through their stupid practices, I’ve decided to focus going forward on heavily building my MeWe presence. Other authors would do well to pay attention to MeWe and grab themselves an account and group there, if they haven’t already. Especially authors who write romance/e-rom and who are tired of having to walk on eggshells around Facebook’s constantly changing and ever nebulous “community standards.” If you’re a reader, snag yourself an account and start learning how to use it, help get your fellow readers on it, and help support your favorite authors there so you can keep interacting with them without Facebook’s interference.
I posted a version of the below on my Facebook profile the other day, but I’m expanding it (and editing it LOL).
Okay, fellow authors and readers, why do I really think this time is different and we need to head to MeWe and get established there?
* They don’t sell your data or track you.
* NO ADS.
* MeWe has a much more reasonable content policy and doesn’t ding you for a breastfeeding picture while someone shooting up a mosque gets to livestream. This means that…
* Romance authors and reviewers aren’t HASSLED to death and worried about losing their account over a little butt crack on an otherwise acceptable picture. Or for having a picture of two guys gasp! kissing. Or for the content in a teaser, review, excerpt, or other posting.
* They don’t change shit up in the UI every time you turn around. Imagine that! They can improve their site while not moving everything around or implementing features you never wanted or asked for. (Or, worse, making the site practically unusable.)
* Know how we always say we want the eye-roll and other emoji? Well… On Mewe, YOU GET ALL THE EMOJIS. Yes, ALL of them. Every last dang one. You want to eyeroll? Go for it. Puke? Yep! Sad faces and smiles galore. Thumbs up AND down. Hearts. Flags. All those little weird things that we have no clue what they are. YOU GET EMOJIS! Plus they have custom emoji packs you can buy if you want to. (Another way they earn money.)
* …and, like on your phone, YOU CAN CHOOSE THE SKIN TONE of some of the emojis!
* You have clear and EASY privacy controls over what you see. And you can set up your feed the way you want it to be. (And it STAYS THAT WAY!) Not just for your profile, but on a micro-level for each “contact” (aka “friend”) you have, for each group, everything. If you have one group where you want to see everything, you can set it to that. You have another you want to be a member of but never get any notifications for it? You can do that, too. And it actually WORKS. If you want your main feed to show you posts from contacts, you get that. (And you can select which contacts not to see their posts, or if they can see yours.) You can view all your groups. You can view everything, if you want.
* Even better, the privacy controls aren’t hidden in some deep menu where they seem to keep moving it around every other week to make it difficult to find. (Fb does that to make it difficult for you to opt-out so they can use your data.)
* I’m not here to connect with every single person in the whole damned world. I want to connect with fellow readers and authors and other industry professionals and just…SOCIALIZE. And with my friends, too, obviously. But lately, I can’t even SEE stuff from my friends unless it’s like five days later. Or, I see the same exact post twenty fricking times in a row and nothing else. I don’t get notifications from the groups where I want to receive them, and I get notifications from random shit I specifically turned off on Fb. On MeWe, you can control allll of that.
* Honestly, MeWe is easier to use than Facebook. Once you familiarize yourself with the UI on the phone app, or on a browser window on your computer, you’ll get the hang of it. (And, again, they don’t go moving shit around every time you turn around.) The phone apps have a bit more functionality than the desktop app and give you cool features like a dual camera mode where you can show yourself AND what you’re looking at during the same session. They have a TON of great video and photo features, like creating your own memes and gifs and disappearing stories, DUAL camera video, etc.
* I’m looking forward to being able to do on MeWe what we USED to be able to do on Facebook in #Romancelandia without worrying that the stupid Fb algorithm will nail us and lock down our accounts for 30 days just because we posted something some arbitrary amount of times. Or even for content we posted YEARS ago that they just now got around to flagging!
* Australia. I mean, come on. Australia. You’re getting fucked over now by Fb without even any lube or a reach-around.
* The chat/messenger feature is PART of the platform and not a separate app like Fb.
Yes, MeWe is free. Right now, they’re running a $4.99/month subscription special to add extra features to your account, which to me is more than worth it (like more STICKERS and different themes, because I’m extra like that). You can buy a la carte sticker packs and other features, too. So MeWe picks up extra cash with little add-ons like that. But honestly, fellow authors, especially, wouldn’t you like to be able to share EXPLICIT excerpts with your reader groups again without worrying if you’ll get shut down? Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about every little naughty meme posted in your group?
I know I am.
Yes, I’ll still have and use Facebook, because I can’t not have it with my line of work. I don’t want to lose what little contact I already have with people. But just like when MySpace started descending into the pit and we all moved on to Facebook, I think that time is now to start the migration to MeWe. You can find me there at: mewe.com/i/tymberdalton and my reader’s group link is HERE.
I hope to see you there!
Did you know Bleacke’s Geek (Bleacke Shifters 1) is currently FREE? Check it out! CLICK HERE!