‘Anti-Facebook’ App MeWe Sees Surge in Downloads Amid Privacy Concerns

January 21, 2021 Updated: January 21, 2021

MeWe, a social media app that focuses on privacy, has seen a surge in downloads in recent weeks in the midst of a social media crackdown on users’ content and accounts.

“People all over the world are leaving Facebook and Twitter in droves because they are fed up with the relentless privacy violations, surveillance capitalism, political bias, targeting, and newsfeed manipulation by these companies,” MeWe spokesperson David Westreich told Fox Busines on Thursday. “MeWe solves these problems.”

Westreich added that MeWe added about 2.5 million new users last week, bringing its total users to 16 million.

MeWe, he said, is the “anti-Facebook” social media and is “the new mainstream social network with all the features people love and no ads, no targeting, no newsfeed manipulation, and no BS.”

In June 2020, the company said it had about 8 million users.

During the November 2020 election, MeWe, Gab, and Parler saw respective surges in users amid concerns that Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other Big Tech companies would silence dissent and free speech. Parler, meanwhile, was booted from Google and Apple app services before Amazon Web Services removed the company from its hosting platform, forcing Parler to find alternatives.

Messaging apps Signal and Telegram have also seen a rise in traffic.

At the same time, privacy-focused search website DuckDuckGo said its search traffic has surged by about 62 percent in recent weeks as users are looking for a Google, Yahoo, or Bing alternative. Fellow Google alternative Startpage has also seen a rise in its traffic.

“People are coming to us because they want more privacy, and it’s generally spreading through word of mouth,” Kamyl Bazbaz, DuckDuckGo vice president of communications, told news outlets last week. “People are looking for alternatives to the surveillance-tech business model.”

“The recent Facebook/WhatsApp privacy policy announcement seems to have had some impact increasing search similar to how it has driven people to private messaging alternatives like Signal,” Bazbaz added in a statement. “We’ve seen this happen before, when a high profile privacy issue is exposed, we generally see an increase in use.”