MeWe is not a new social media platform. It was launched in 2012. In terms of functions and interface, you could probably say it’s a Facebook copycat. Frankly speaking, there’s nothing noteworthy about the platform, not until now.
Today, MeWe Suddenly Became Popular
Thanks to Donald Trump! Trump was miserable because of the algorithms of Facebook and Twitter, and he had to find another outlet to publish his posts. That is how MeWe boomed. With no definite algorithm, no need for real names, no form of advertising, and no censorship of content, MeWe became a substitute for Facebook users. For brands, it’d be their next marketing battleground.
When MeWe Entered the Market, Did Facebook Lose Its Advantage?
MeWe does not make use of algorithms, mandate real names, or practice censorship. These aren’t the features that brands find attractive. Not being able to advertise is detrimental to any brand. The most important thing that brands need to pay attention to is whether these differences have impacted Facebook users who are making the switch. In the past two weeks, many users have indeed rushed to open a MeWe account. Without going into user-created content, many appear to be too lazy to create their avatars and complete their profiles. That is, everyone is still at the stage of “the fear of missing out”, so they open an account for free, and then talk about it. After scrolling for a bit on MeWe, most of them still head back to Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates, which means not much time is actively spent on MeWe.
These comments may seem a little unfair. MeWe’s Hong Kong content has been restricted in the past few weeks, and users in Hong Kong will naturally not be very active. Users’ habits on MeWe also need to be monitored for a while. Because of the trend-chasing mentality of Hong Kong people and the current circumstances of MeWe, I am not very optimistic about its future. At least brands need not worry too much about Facebook losing its competitive edge in the meantime. Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Google+ all started out viewing Facebook as their greatest competitor. If anyone needs to worry, it’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Content on MeWe May Be More Highly Sought After
Seeing that there have been many accounts opened on MeWe but with no significant shift in user metrics, brands theoretically need not be overly anxious. Ranked among other things, I find that content posted on MeWe may be a distinguishing feature. When users use MeWe, they are also trying to break away from the usual algorithms and the echo chamber effect and to deliberately view different types of media content.
Some adore their usual brands, but they may also be eager for a fresh perspective across different media. Users would probably not say that they wish that they could view advertisements by other brands without an algorithm.
Brands Should Be Prepared to Enter New Platforms
Brands need not worry about the short-term and seemingly big shifts brought about by MeWe. Yet, they should also not be unprepared. Well-known brands should open official pages as soon as possible and register their account names to avoid their desired domain names from being snapped up.
The cost of opening a page on MeWe is USD 1.90 a month, which is less than HKD 200 a year and is certainly worth offering brands peace of mind. HKTV Mall had already issued a statement earlier, warning users of a counterfeit HKTV Mall MeWe page. Even if brands do not formally operate their MeWe pages, posting official information to empower fans to identify genuine products will be helpful at the very least.
Long-Term Deployment of Content Strategy
Furthermore, as marketers, you have to accept the fate of lifelong learning. As the saying goes, change is eternal. So, it’s a good idea to open a MeWe page and learn the ropes from there. But business owners should also understand that operating a social media account is never just about reusing the same set of content. The content should be tailored to suit the platform’s audience in the long run. MeWe does not run advertisements, which means it could not push the advertisement to an audience with ad spending.
Users flock to MeWe because there are no advertisements, and they probably would not want to follow a brand’s page if it were full of advertisements. If you want to utilize the platform, you will need to be strategic about how and what you post on MeWe.