What Is Mewe and How Is It Different?

All about the private social media platform

Billing itself as a "Next Generation Social Network," MeWe is designed as an alternative to popular platforms like Facebook. It's not quite the young upstart you might think it is, as it was originally founded in 2012, but only left its smaller-scale beta testing initiative in 2015. Since then it's expanded its feature set, but retained one core value above all else: privacy.

That has its pluses and minuses, with some users loving the lessened oversight and data collection MeWe offers compared to other social networks. But it's also been cited as a hotbed of conspiracy theories and misinformation.

What Makes the MeWe Social Network Different?

In terms of its day to day functionality, MeWe is not hugely different to the social network(s) it looked to replace. It has a timeline, groups you can join, friends you can make, a built-in messaging tool, and a profile page for you to customize and make your own.

MeWe

All of this is filtered through the lens of privacy protections, however. MeWe has pledged to never perform data mining on its users, nor sell their data on to other companies. That puts it diametrically opposed to platforms like Facebook, which evolved to be major hubs of data harvesting with arguably the site's social functions acting as a side-business to the service's main function of selling targeted advertising.

MeWe Pro is a secondary, premium tier of MeWe account, whereby you can incorporate additional services in your social networking account. For around $5 a month (first 30 days free) you can get 100GB of cloud storage space, and unlimited voice and video calling through the MeWe chat interface. It also unlocks additional emojis and stickers, custom profile themes and badges.

That's not the only way to customize how your MeWe experience is when it comes to adverts. While MeWe used to offer non-personalized advertisements, but as of 2020, offers no ads whatsoever, relying on Pro subscriptions and sales of other digital packs like stickers and badges from users to cover its bills.

MeWe Pro

Businesses who want to represent themselves on MeWe must also pay a small monthly fee to operate on the site, and there are options for cloud storage and video calling packages to help generate additional funds.

There are no post boosting mechanics on the site, and no algorithmic managing of what people see. So if you like a page, follow an artist, or join a community group, you will see everything they post in chronological order. You can tweak what shows up on your timeline page, but there will be no blocking or filtering of content based on an arbitrary algorithm or MeWe personnel. You're in control.

MeWe Secret Groups and Concerns

Although MeWe fans love its hands-off approach to managing their feeds and the lack of intrusive data mining and advertising targeting, that has lead to the site supporting a very niche clientele of groups and individuals that would likely have been rejected from other social platforms.

Due to the way MeWe allows for secretive groups to be created and managed, doesn't list groups or their members on mainstream search engines, and prevents content from being shared with non-members, it has seen a rise in hateful groups finding a home on MeWe.

Reports have been written over the years about how white supremacists, anti-vaxxers, and other niche conspiracy theory and hate groups have set up shop on MeWe. While you have no need to interact with such groups on the site and many exist on other social platforms, it is worth bearing in mind when considering joining the website.

An argument could be made, however, that MeWe just facilitates the discussion of these sorts of niche views among already radicalized or converted individuals. Since there are no algorithms pushing you towards groups that may encourage more extreme views like there is on Facebook, you are unlikely to interact with these communities unless you go looking for them.

Keeping Kids Safe on MeWe

MeWe, like most social networks, is not designed with young children in mind. It does operate a 16+ age limit when signing up, although you only have to tick a box to say that you are over that age, which doesn't present much of a barrier to entry for willful children.

With less oversight from the site's admins and no real ability for parent accounts on the site to look at what their children are going via public posts or profiles, the best way to keep your children safe on MeWe is to be involved in their daily use. Talk to them about what they see and do on the site and make sure to note any changes in their behavior or outlook which could suggest they've seen or read something disturbing.