Startup MeWe Launches Free, 'No Ads' Social Network

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2016-03-16 Print this article Print

How MeWe Works

All a prospective MeWe member needs to do to register for the network is supply his/her name, email address, gender, birthday and a password. If he or she is already a member of the Google, AOL or Yahoo networks, the user can defer to information already recorded online.

Supply your own photo if you like, and off you go on MeWe.

MeWe features, according to Weinstein, include:

--New-gen texting and chat app
--Unique custom camera
--Disappearing content
--Next-gen voice messaging
--Secret chat with encryption options (April 1 launch)
--Personal social cloud
--Multiple/custom group profiles
--Private and open groups
--Animated GIFs
--700+ emojis

In February 2016, MeWe surveyed more than 1,000 students on 25 U.S. college campuses and asked them if they knew that social media and third-party advertisers collect and own their data. "Sixty-five percent of students responded: "WTF? This has to stop!" Weinstein told eWEEK.

Networked Aimed at Millennials

Thus, MeWe is aiming its service directly at millennials. According to a January 2016 Pew Research Report, millennials are the demographic most concerned about their online privacy and their personal information being monetized.

"MeWe uses a chat app that emphasizes social sharing with privacy-by-design (PbD). We're the only social network with a 'Privacy Bill of Rights' for its members," Weinstein said.

MeWe was selected as a finalist in the Innovative World Technologies division of SXSW's eighth annual Accelerator competition this week in Austin, Texas.

Weinstein also said the company has completed a $3 million Seed III round of funding at a $20 million valuation, bringing MeWe's total funding to date to $4.8 million. MeWe is currently offered in six languages.

You can watch a video about MeWe here.

Go here to read MeWe's Privacy Bill of Rights.


Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features and Analysis at eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz


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