In general, people have gotten used to the idea of using social media to share their lives with friends and family. However, the growth of mobile messaging apps points to a trend toward wanting a more private way to share personal moments using social technology.
Enter Memorease and Milestones, a new kind of social network that enables users to create private microsites for sharing digital content with select groups of people. Billed as an alternative to popular social networks, the creators of Memories and Milestones designed the network as a secure place for sharing of intimate moments.
Here’s how it works: An administrator can set up a microsite and invite others to contribute. Participants can upload and share any digital media, including photos, video and music. The administrator acts as moderator and approves all content before it appears on the site. Should the user decide to close down the account, all associated data and assets will be deleted from the database.
The idea for Memorease and Milestones was sparked when Founder and CEO Matt Shaw was dealing with the fallout of a cyber-bullying incident with his kid. He did his best to clean up the carnage on Facebook only to discover that there was no real way to delete the content. In fact, he had no control of the content and it would live on the Facebook servers forever.
“People love to share on social media, but the cost to the user is increasingly alarming as privacy continues to be hacked and control of content completely lost,” Shaw says.
Indeed, as the social media has matured as a business, most have taken on an ad-based revenue model wherein the user is the product. Instead, Memorease and Milestones employs a subscription model where users get the first 30 days free, after which they pay $9 per month for up to 5G of storage. Subscribers also have the option to purchase the compiled data for $29, $10 of which is donated to the charity of the user’s choice once they close their account.
When asked why he thinks users will pay for a social network when there are so many free options available, Shaw had this to say: “Users are tired of being the product. You know the saying, if you’re not paying for a product, you are the product.”
Shaw sees the option of a private communication channel, free of ad-clutter as what will attract users to the site. Surely there will be plenty of people who are happy enough to continue being the product of social networks with dual-sided business models. But Memorease and Milestones is targeting a different social media user.
“We are targeting an audience who is tired of paying for services with their own personal privacy along with their loved ones and friends,” he says.